to look forward to; regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence or the coming of: I expect to read it. I expect him later. She expects that they will come.
to look for with reason or justification: We expect obedience.
Informal. to suppose or surmise; guess: I expect that you are tired from the trip.
to anticipate the birth of (one's child): Paul and Sylvia expect their second very soon.
be expecting, to be pregnant: The cat is expecting again.
Origin of expect
1550–60; < Latinex(s)pectāre to look out for, await, equivalent to ex-ex-1 + spectāre to look at, frequentative of specere; see spectacle
Related formsex·pect·a·ble, adjectiveex·pect·a·bly, adverbex·pect·ed·ly, adverbex·pect·ed·ness, nounex·pect·er, nounex·pect·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·ex·pect, verbpre·ex·pect, verb (used with object)un·ex·pect·a·ble, adjectiveun·ex·pect·a·bly, adverbun·ex·pect·ing, adjectiveun·ex·pect·ing·ly, adverb
1. Expect,anticipate,hope,await all imply looking to some future event. Expect implies confidently believing, usually for good reasons, that an event will occur: to expect a visit from a friend.Anticipate is to look forward to an event and even to picture it: Do you anticipate trouble?Hope implies a wish that an event may take place and an expectation that it will: to hope for the best.Await ( wait for ) implies being alert and ready, whether for good or evil: to await news after a cyclone.
3. This sense of expect ( I expect you went with them. I expect you want to leave now. ) is encountered in the speech of educated people but seldom in their writing.
1550s, "wait, defer action," from Latin expectare/exspectare "await, look out for, desire, hope," from ex- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + spectare "to look," frequentative of specere "to look at" (see scope (n.1)).
Figurative sense of "anticipate, look forward to" developed in Latin, attested in English from c.1600. Used since 1817 as a euphemism for "be pregnant." Related: Expected; expecting.