Definition of “expect” - English Dictionary

“expect” in English

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uk /ɪkˈspekt/ us /ɪkˈspekt/

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.
(only) to be expected

normal and what usually happens:

All parents of small children get tired. It's to be expected.

More examples

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.
adjective [ before noun ] uk /ɪkˈspek.tɪd/ us /ɪkˈspek.tɪd/


The expected counter-attack never happened.

(Definition of “expect” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“expect” in American English

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us /ɪkˈspekt/

to think or believe that something will happen, or that someone will arrive:

[ T ] We are expecting about 100 people for the lecture.
[ T ] His plane is expected to land at about 7:30 this evening.
[ + to infinitive ] We expected to see her here, but I guess she decided not to come.

To expect is also to ask for something to happen because you think you have a right to ask for it:

[ T ] The boss wants me to work this weekend – that’s expecting a lot!
is expecting

If you say that a woman is expecting, you mean that she is pregnant.

noun [ U ] us /ɪkˈspek·tən·si/

There was an air of expectancy as the chairman rose to speak.
adverb [ not gradable ] us /ɪkˈspek·tənt·li/

She looked up at him expectantly.

(Definition of “expect” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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The introduction of e-procurement is one of the new directive's key elements, and from the new electronic procurement instruments we can expect sustained good progress.
His reply has not given me a great deal of confidence that it has the sort of priority that we expect.
Nevertheless we expect it will arrive.
We accordingly expect them to show firm commitment, greater determination and, above all, great courage, sparing no effort in their pursuit of peace.
Can we expect, for example, that the mechanisms of self-regulation and co-regulation will prove a genuinely satisfactory solution to the problem?
But, in giving away those individual rights and freedoms, we also expect the same responsibility on the part of those in power.
We also, however, need to be realistic and open-minded, not only about the results we expect from negotiations, but also about the ends we have in view.
We expect more than just general intentions now; we expect progress to be made at last by one of the very countries which is most affected by the situation.
The citizens expect concrete action, better consideration of their concerns, whether in economic and social matters or with regard to their security.
They are not elected to be spectators or observers at a trial, but to be legislators, and that is what the public expect us to do.

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