Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “expect”

expect

verb uk   /ɪkˈspekt/ us  

expect verb (THINK)

B1 [T] to think or believe something will happen, or someone will arrive: We are expecting a lot of applicants for the job. [+ (that)] I expect (that) you'll find it somewhere in your bedroom. I expect (that) he'd have left anyway. [+ to infinitive] He didn't expect to see me. The financial performance of the business is fully expected (= almost certain) to improve. We were half expecting you not to come back.Planning, expecting and arrangingPlotting and trapping (only) to be expected normal and what usually happens: All parents of small children get tired. It's to be expected.Habitual and customary

expect verb (DEMAND)

B2 [T] to think that someone should behave in a particular way or do a particular thing: I expect punctuality from my students. [+ to infinitive] Borrowers are expected to (= should) return books on time.Giving orders and commands

expect verb (BE PREGNANT)

be expecting (a baby) B2 to be pregnant: She shouldn't be lifting those boxes if she's expecting. Kate and Dom are expecting a baby.PregnancyBirth
expected
adjective [before noun] uk   /-ˈspek.tɪd/ us  
B2 The expected counter-attack never happened.Planning, expecting and arrangingPlotting and trapping
(Definition of expect from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of expect?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “expect” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

sling

to throw or drop something carelessly

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More