Definition of expectancy in English:



  • [mass noun] The state of thinking or hoping that something, especially something good, will happen.

    ‘they waited with an air of expectancy’
    [count noun] ‘our expectancies about the future’
    • ‘All around Murrayfield there was an air of expectancy because of the bravery of the Scottish performance against France.’
    • ‘The excited children were seen getting their first feel of computers with an air of high expectancy.’
    • ‘So here I was at dawn, full of expectancy at the foot of this hulking holy mountain.’
    • ‘There was a general air of expectancy among the small gathering of watchers.’
    • ‘There was an air of expectancy as the first notes of Haydn's Farewell Symphony sounded.’
    • ‘It's wonderfully expressive of a hot night and the feeling of expectancy, that someone is about to step out of the dark.’
    • ‘Even before the game there was a different feel around Dublin, a different atmosphere, a kind of expectancy.’
    • ‘The enigma surrounding the situation had filled the air with expectancy.’
    • ‘There is always an air of excitement and expectancy as people begin to arrive long before the service starts and are often prepared to stand throughout.’
    • ‘This can only bring out a sense of positive expectancy.’
    • ‘We made it with an hour to spare, on a cloud of exhilaration, exhaustion and expectancy.’
    • ‘The atmosphere was jovial and full of great expectancy as the ‘fun auction’ was about to begin.’
    • ‘You could tell someone important was coming from the air of expectancy.’
    • ‘She couldn't seem to shake a feeling of expectancy, an anticipation for something that she couldn't name.’
    • ‘As the adults and expectant children gathered out-side Kavanagh's Pub on Main Street there was an air of expectancy.’
    • ‘They transform the garden from the greyness of winter to the hopeful expectancy that arrives with the spring.’
    • ‘Their facial expression change from expectancy to delight.’
    • ‘The early evening is laden with expectancy and the pavements are almost deserted.’
    • ‘The whole city had a sense of expectancy which made you very nervous.’
    • ‘But let's temper expectancy with caution, knowing that a team is only as good, or indeed as bad, as its last outing.’
    anticipation, expectation, eagerness, hope, hopefulness
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from Latin exspectantia, from exspectare look out for (see expect).