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expect - definition and synonyms

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verb [transitive]     expect pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleexpecting
past tenseexpected
past participleexpected
  1. 1
    to think that something will happen
    expect (that):

    Investors expect that the rate of inflation will rise.

    expect someone/something to do something:

    I didn’t really expect you to understand.

    We were expecting the letter to arrive by now.

    as expected (=in the way you expected):

    As expected, the party was a great success.

    when you least expect it:

    An accident can happen at any time, just when you least expect it.

    half expect (=think that something might happen):

    She half expected him to be angry with her.

    1. a.
      spoken used in negative sentences to tell someone not to be too hopeful about something because it is unlikely to happen

      Don’t expect me to help you.

      A new hairstyle will improve your appearance, but you can’t expect miracles.

  2. 2
    to think that it is right or reasonable that something should happen

    Our customers expect good service.

    expect to do something:

    I expect to get paid on time.

    expect someone/something to do something:

    It’s not fair to expect me to do all the housework.

    expect something of/from someone:

    the level of fitness expected of a professional athlete

  3. 3
    [often progressive] to be waiting for someone or something to arrive

    Are you expecting a package?

    expect someone home/back/in:

    What time do you expect Sara home?

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