• synonyms


[ik-spek-tuh n-see]
See more synonyms for expectancy on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural ex·pect·an·cies.
  1. the quality or state of expecting; expectation; anticipatory belief or desire.
  2. the state of being expected.
  3. an object of expectation; something expected.
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Also ex·pect·ance.

Origin of expectancy

From the Medieval Latin word ex(s)pectantia, dating back to 1590–1600. See expectant, -ancy
Can be confusedexpectancy expectation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for expectancy

prospect, outlook, probability, calculation, prediction, supposition, suspense, trust, surmise, presumption, confidence, reliance, assumption, presentation, assurance, conjecture, belief, expectation, likelihood, presentiment

Examples from the Web for expectancy

Historical Examples of expectancy

  • England was in a condition of great political excitement and expectancy.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Otto and Pussy had taken their seats, full of excitement and expectancy.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • All that forenoon, the little house throbbed with a curious sense of expectancy.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • It is very sure in expectancy, like the making of matrimonial matches.

  • There was thus a rather tense air of expectancy when the train pulled in.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for expectancy



  1. something expected, esp on the basis of a norm or averagehis life expectancy was 30 years
  2. anticipation; expectation
  3. the prospect of a future interest or possession, esp in propertyan estate in expectancy
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for expectancy


1590s, from Latin expectantia (see expectant) + -ancy.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper