[ik-spek-tuh nt]
See more synonyms for expectant on Thesaurus.com
  1. having expectations; expecting: an excited, expectant audience.
  2. pregnant; expecting: an expectant mother.
  3. characterized by expectations: an expectant attitude.
  4. in expectation; expected; prospective: an expectant fortune.
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for expectantly

Historical Examples of expectantly

  • Her eyes gleamed out at him expectantly, avariciously, with some suspicion, too.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • I waited, expectantly, thinking that I might be about to have a bite.

  • "You've had a wonderful time, I know," she said expectantly.

    Miss Pat at Artemis Lodge

    Pemberton Ginther

  • Mary raised her head and looked towards it expectantly as she said, "Come in."

    Mary Gray

    Katharine Tynan

  • After favouring me with his ultimatum, the Vicomte looked at me expectantly.


    Henry Seton Merriman

British Dictionary definitions for expectantly


  1. expecting, anticipating, or hopefulan expectant glance
  2. having expectations, esp of possession of something or prosperity
  3. pregnantan expectant mother
  1. a person who expects something
  2. 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 expectantly



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

expectantly in Medicine


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