Definition of anticipation in US English:



  • 1The action of anticipating something; expectation or prediction.

    ‘her eyes sparkled with anticipation’
    • ‘A brand is a well-differentiated concept for providing consumers with a benefit that will arouse motivating, exclusive and incomparable anticipations.’
    • ‘Older people I think are probably in a stage of life where the anticipations of death are more frequent.’
    • ‘But anticipations of victory, however rational, were premature.’
    • ‘Poetic vision is always double vision, impressions of fact always mediated by anticipations of form; but here these anticipations seem to obstruct, or even to prevent, any knowledge of a real house or real road.’
    • ‘This erotics of identification invariably frustrates the viewers' anticipations and appeals instead to their puzzle-solving abilities.’
    • ‘She has also started to conceptualise the passage of time, filling her constant conversation with memories and anticipations.’
    • ‘Proximate preparation is all that transpires generally from, say, late October through December, in terms of anticipations and plans.’
    • ‘With its ability to fold a mythic idealized past into anticipations of the postwar city and its new social arrangements, the community center was an ideal vehicle for the living memorial.’
    • ‘After a pleasant journey we arrived safely - yet it was far from our anticipations and the mood of contentment lapsed.’
    • ‘Each day, we awaken with certain expectations and anticipations: people we will see, things we plan to do, obligations or tasks to be fulfilled.’
    • ‘‘These anticipations were happily premature,’ he wrote later.’
    • ‘We may become so obsessed with our ability to anticipate future events that our anticipations may seem to be real to us.’
    • ‘The movie has fascinating echoes and anticipations of films like Casablanca, Paths of Glory and Lawrence of Arabia, and it tells an unglamorous truth about fear among the officer classes.’
    • ‘He'd wanted some hope that his negative anticipations would be proven wrong, but I had just confirmed that leaving college would not only be as bad as he feared, but actually much worse.’
    • ‘There are bizarre anticipations of the Princess Diana cult - airhead clothes-horse becomes martyr for entire, weeping nation - in this musical about the trophy wife of dictator Juan Peron.’
    • ‘It was the aroma of the Christmas cake baking that triggered the anticipations and excitement.’
    • ‘It would be a massive understatement to say that Condorcet's forecast of advances in science, technology, and medicine has held up better than his anticipations of progress in ethics and politics.’
    • ‘‘Everybody, everywhere will be perpetually and constantly looking up, with a sense of loss and insecurity, with a vague distress of painful anticipations,’ Wells wrote.’
    • ‘This simple reality is hidden from view by early philosophical and theological anticipations of mass schooling in various writings about social order and human nature.’
    • ‘I know you are excited with the anticipations of these adventures you can experience, but I am hard at work’
    expectation, prediction, forecast
    expectancy, expectation, hope, hopefulness
    in the expectation of, in preparation for, in case of, ready for, against
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Music The introduction in a composition of part of a chord which is about to follow in full.


  • in anticipation

    • With the probability or expectation of something happening.

      ‘they manned the telephones in anticipation of a flood of calls’
      • ‘Well, its now over two weeks later and I'm still tapping my foot in anticipation of this new and improved version.’
      • ‘They still look good value in anticipation of good growth next year.’
      • ‘There was an enormous sense of belonging and joy in anticipation of the arrival of the Holy Father.’
      • ‘This as twenty fish were laid out in perfect order in anticipation of the big fish fry.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, news of a new record left fans chewing their fingernails raw in anticipation.’
      • ‘We heard that they were beefing up security in anticipation of serious protests.’
      • ‘This is worrying investors, and has led to depressed prices in recent months in anticipation of the downgrade.’
      • ‘Inside the atmosphere was just as restless as people surged forward towards the stage in anticipation of the event.’
      • ‘In my youth, when I climbed the Reek, it was in anticipation of pleasure, not as a penance.’
      • ‘We both ran into the bathroom where we had had the faucets turned on for the last eight days in anticipation of water.’
      • ‘It is understood security has been tightened in parts of the airport in anticipation of a second protest in the New Year.’
      • ‘A safety message has been issued in anticipation of further high spring tides throughout the summer.’
      • ‘He used a finger to trace the outline of her lips and she closed her eyes in anticipation.’
      • ‘She had to force herself to lay still and she shook in anticipation.’
      • ‘His explanation, that the movement had been in anticipation of another foul, was unconvincing.’
      • ‘They will spend most of the day purifying the home in anticipation of the coming baby.’
      • ‘Don't ignore that which is happening now in anticipation of that which is yet to happen.’
      • ‘I only nodded in a response and waited in anticipation of what Scott had to say to me.’
      • ‘By mid-day the crowds lined the riverbank in anticipation of the local raft race finals.’
      • ‘Your hands tremble in anticipation as you plug the one end into the PC and the other into the unit.’


Late Middle English: from Latin anticipatio(n-), from the verb anticipare (see anticipate).