[ik-spek-tuh nt]


having expectations; expecting: an excited, expectant audience.
pregnant; expecting: an expectant mother.
characterized by expectations: an expectant attitude.
in expectation; expected; prospective: an expectant fortune.


a person who expects or who waits in expectation.

Origin of expectant

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin expectant- (stem of expectāns), present participle of expectāre to expect; see -ant
Related formsex·pect·ant·ly, adverbhalf-ex·pect·ant, adjectivehalf-ex·pect·ant·ly, adverbnon·ex·pect·ant, adjectivenon·ex·pect·ant·ly, adverbo·ver·ex·pect·ant, adjectiveo·ver·ex·pect·ant·ly, adverbpre·ex·pect·ant, nounqua·si-ex·pect·ant, adjectivequa·si-ex·pect·ant·ly, adverbun·ex·pect·ant, adjectiveun·ex·pect·ant·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expectant

Contemporary Examples of expectant

Historical Examples of expectant

  • His face had a patient, expectant look, as if he waited for them to do something.

  • We hastened to mount, Clara's eyes full of expectant frolic.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • At Length her heart's desire must be drawing near to her expectant soul!

    Salted With Fire

    George MacDonald

  • It was opened very quickly, as if by some one who was on the watch, expectant of an arrival.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • She did not speak, however, but only listened with her thoughtful and expectant air.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for expectant



expecting, anticipating, or hopefulan expectant glance
having expectations, esp of possession of something or prosperity
pregnantan expectant mother


a person who expects something
obsolete a candidate for office, esp for ecclesiastical preferment
Derived Formsexpectantly, adverb
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 expectant

late 14c., from Old French expectant or directly from Latin expectantem/exspectantem (nominative expectans/exspectans), present participle of expectare/exspectare (see expect). Related: Expectantly. As a noun, from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

expectant in Medicine




The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.