Definition of anticipate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Regard as probable; expect or predict.

    ‘she anticipated scorn on her return to the theater’
    with clause ‘it was anticipated that the rains would slow the military campaign’
    • ‘A dramatic improvement in health status is anticipated with life expectancy going beyond current forecasts.’
    • ‘They will see it for what it was, a colossal series of stupid decisions that should have been, and were, anticipated and predicted by a wide range of people who should have been listened to.’
    • ‘In addition, physicians may not anticipate predictable side effects of narcotics and may not educate their patients about them.’
    • ‘We can derive that anticipated probability by adding assumptions that we believe are generally realistic.’
    • ‘The car parks were converted from Pay and Display to Pay on Foot at a cost of £450,000, which means that customers pay for the time they use rather than having to anticipate payment in advance.’
    • ‘The recognition of this identity is a catalyst to anticipate the future and predict whether the opposition politics are sustainable or not.’
    • ‘In the future, however, Allard predicts that gamers will expect rather than anticipate that kind of technology.’
    • ‘I sampled my mushrooms expectantly, anticipating an explosion of subtle flavours.’
    • ‘He probably anticipated the way things were moving in terms of the moral and social climate.’
    • ‘Organizations that operate in strongly competitive markets cannot take an approach based solely on plans that anticipate a predictable future.’
    • ‘Argyle said it's just what was anticipated when long-range forecasts predicted up to 10 days without significant rain for most of the province.’
    • ‘And we brought down crime, probably, two to three times more than I ever anticipated or would have predicted.’
    • ‘The results could help weather forecasters make long-term predictions, and anticipate general climate patterns up to a year in advance.’
    • ‘But the nature of research is such that the results cannot be anticipated, so predicting what the next major advancements will be is really informed guesswork.’
    • ‘Forecasters are anticipating a good September so maybe we will have another month or so before the autumn clear up begins.’
    • ‘Formal orders in this regard are anticipated in a day or so.’
    • ‘Given what is at stake the winners can anticipate a probable quarter-final against Wales.’
    • ‘Another candidate for evaluating luck, volatility, is an amalgam of probability and payout that anticipates sizes of bankroll fluctuations during a game.’
    • ‘Don't brake suddenly but anticipate the turn in advance, and make smooth steering inputs.’
    • ‘For this reason members of some groups are sometimes in a better position than members of others to understand and anticipate the probable consequences of implementing particular social policies.’
    expect, foresee, predict, think likely, forecast, prophesy, foretell, contemplate the possibility of, allow for, be prepared for
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    1. 1.1 Guess or be aware of (what will happen) and take action in order to be prepared.
      ‘they failed to anticipate a full scale invasion’
      • ‘They must make all of the following preparations when anticipating the care of a latex-allergic patient.’
      • ‘Football stars and fans all over the world are already eagerly anticipating the next World Cup, which the game's ruling body is promising will be the best ever staged.’
      • ‘PT Datascrip stands as one among the most active companies that has foreseen and anticipated the need of security related products here.’
      • ‘This information allowed our soldiers to prepare mentally and anticipate the actions they would be required to take.’
      • ‘The D major conclusion blazed forth in its full glory, brilliantly anticipated by a momentary slowing of the tempo just before the final outburst.’
      • ‘Even if detailed discussion is not possible, relevant historical details should be taken to anticipate problems and prepare appropriately for the arrival of the preterm infant.’
      • ‘He actually winced, anticipating a full on attack.’
      • ‘We anticipate his moves and prepare counter-moves to exploit them.’
      • ‘I probably didn't anticipate the gravity of what the media was going to do, how they were going to respond to this.’
      • ‘Your course is entirely predictable and can be anticipated by the predator.’
      • ‘Looking back, I guess I should have anticipated the trouble before it even started.’
      • ‘Of course we had anticipated this, had prepared Lucky for Stone's questions.’
      • ‘Gradually she began anticipating the commands, predicting their needs, and their desires, until they didn't even have to ask.’
      • ‘‘These are to be anticipated and there are probably more to come,’ he said.’
      • ‘We cannot predict nor anticipate their behaviour, or that they will even be there.’
      • ‘The basis of the case I had prepared neither required nor anticipated such witness attendance and perhaps with hindsight I should have walked away at this stage.’
      • ‘It just helps if they can anticipate it by being aware of the condition and the drugs their patients take.’
      • ‘The new system suggests that we need to organize health care to predict and anticipate needs based on knowledge of patients, local conditions and a thorough knowledge of the natural history of illness.’
      • ‘And so we are prepared to anticipate those requests.’
      • ‘Consideration of seasonal changes emphasizes how plants do not just respond to their environment, but predict or anticipate it.’
      pre-empt, forestall, intercept
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    2. 1.2 Look forward to.
      ‘Stephen was eagerly anticipating the break from the routine of business’
      • ‘Those who are familiar with George's somewhat unusual ideas, will no doubt be eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new attraction.’
      • ‘From England's point of view these were quite useful, confidence-building preparations for the much anticipated Ashes series later this summer.’
      • ‘Like most industry insiders, renowned architecture critic Hugh Pearman is eagerly anticipating an epic battle culminating in a wonderful icon for the city of Glasgow.’
      • ‘He spent his early years basking in the glow of late-night radio, listening to big-band jazz blasting live from hotels across London and eagerly anticipating the next hot chorus.’
      • ‘The school has been housed in cramped and poorly ventilated portables for several years and was eagerly anticipating a permanent location.’
      • ‘The move has been welcomed by the county council and local community leaders, who are eagerly anticipating the re-opening of the unit and the creation of new jobs.’
      • ‘We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of many more baby animals, including lambs and more piglets, over the forthcoming weeks.’
      • ‘Probably your most highly anticipated day will be the dietary cheat days, of which there are three.’
      • ‘Who Bares Wins is set against the backdrop of a remote community eagerly anticipating the arrival of the rambler and also explores society's attitudes to nudity.’
      • ‘The stage fright seemingly mounted when he had to tune up in front of a full room anticipating his first song of the set.’
      • ‘Carl and Kim had been eagerly anticipating the birth after Kim, a 33-year-old insurance account executive, discovered she was pregnant last year.’
      • ‘Probably my most anticipated show of the week is Gang of Four at Irving Plaza.’
      • ‘Many victims' families, who must decide whether to pursue private litigation or seek a payout from a national compensation fund, were eagerly anticipating the ruling.’
      • ‘The female following are also eagerly anticipating the launch of the season, and particularly the production of the customary team line-up photograph.’
      • ‘This should draw a huge crowd to O'Hara Park as the clash will be eagerly awaited and anticipated by players, fans and supporters alike of both teams.’
      • ‘I live in Wigginton, not exactly out in the ‘sticks’, and have been eagerly anticipating broadband Internet access.’
      • ‘Rainman is due home in half an hour and I'm eagerly anticipating the ratcheting sound of the La-Z-Boy as he settles in for an evening of television viewing.’
      • ‘By the time Shane stepped through the ropes, the crowd, eagerly anticipating his arrival, had already risen to a fever pitch.’
      • ‘Tuesday was probably the most anticipated day of the week, as it was Wayne Cooper's time to shine.’
      • ‘I began collecting craft books in early November, eagerly anticipating the barrage of oohs and aahs coming my way from admiring December guests.’
      look forward to, await, count the days until
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  • 2Act as a forerunner or precursor of.

    ‘he anticipated Bates's theories on mimicry and protective coloration’
    • ‘His book The Grammar of Science was remarkable in that it anticipated some of the ideas of relativity theory.’
    • ‘While he professed a disdain for pure theory, Giblin anticipated some elements of the relationship between trade, national income, and employment that informed Keynesian economics.’
    • ‘It is important to note that for a homogeneous population our results, in terms of epidemic type and outcome, are as anticipated from the deterministic theory.’
    • ‘It would not be too much to say that Stein's development over a lifetime is anticipated completely with regard to subject matter, sense and grammar - in Sterne.’
    • ‘Back in the 19th century, Dilthey appears to have come closest to anticipating Buhler's classification of theories.’
    • ‘His assertion that tautologies were the only secure predictions anticipates similar views of social scientists in recent decades.’
    • ‘Beyond anticipating elements of the modern theory, George's writings added to the moral foundation of the free trade argument.’
    • ‘For Darwin, each seed is a tiny universe, and in his poetic fashion, Darwin anticipates the poetry of modern atomic theory.’
    • ‘Topically, the first movement, at least, anticipates Richard Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie, although Strauss's symphony is a great deal more advanced.’
    • ‘Bolzano's theories of mathematical infinity anticipated Georg Cantor's theory of infinite sets.’
    • ‘His theory of imperialism anticipated European unification and contradictions associated today with globalization of production and markets.’
    • ‘It is in this dimension of her drama that I find Cavendish anticipates écriture féminine as advanced by Hélène Cixous.’
    foreshadow, precede, antedate, come before, go before, be earlier than
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    1. 2.1 Come or take place before (an event or process expected or scheduled for a later time).
      • ‘Note the telling musical score, anticipating events, cueing the audience as to when to be scared, assuming we cannot figure that out ourselves.’
      • ‘The excitement is mounting, particularly after a couple of signs appeared in the shop window anticipating the event.’
      • ‘Hopkins' answer anticipates Charles Johnson's assessment of the no-win situation faced by the African American periodical press.’
    2. 2.2 Act before (someone) in expectation of what they will do; forestall.
      ‘I'm sorry, go on. I did not mean to anticipate you’
      • ‘He was moving well, hitting with accuracy, and anticipating his opponent.’
      • ‘Should he be blamed for not anticipating Timothy?’
      • ‘Face falling, Briar promptly tried to open the door wider but, anticipating him, Althia moved just as quickly and nearly slammed the door on his fingers.’


Mid 16th century (in the senses ‘to take something into consideration’, ‘mention something before the proper time’): from Latin anticipat- ‘acted in advance’, from anticipare, based on ante- ‘before’ + capere ‘take’.