Definition of expect verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    expect

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈspekt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈspekt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they expect
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈspekt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈspekt//
     
    he / she / it expects
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈspekts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈspekts//
     
    past simple expected
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈspektɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈspektɪd//
     
    past participle expected
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈspektɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈspektɪd//
     
    -ing form expecting
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈspektɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈspektɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [transitive] to think or believe that something will happen or that somebody will do something expect something We are expecting a rise in food prices this month. expect something from somebody/something Don't expect sympathy from me! expect something of somebody/something That's not the sort of behaviour I expect of you! expect to do something You can't expect to learn a foreign language in a few months. I looked back, half expecting to see someone following me. expect somebody/something to do something House prices are expected to rise sharply. I didn’t expect him to become a successful writer. Do you really expect me to believe you? expect (that)… Many people were expecting (that) the peace talks would break down. it is expected that… It is expected that the report will suggest some major reforms. Language BankexpectDiscussing predictions The number of people using mobile phones to purchase goods and services is expected/likely to more than double by the end of 2015. Experts have predicted/forecast that the number of people using their mobile phones to pay for goods and services should exceed 190 million in 2015. This figure is set to reach 200 million by 2016. By 2015, 800 million mobile phone users worldwide will be participating in social networks via their phone. Sales of mobile phones in 2009 were lower than expected. The company’s announcement of 1.26 billion handsets sold for the year is in line with predictions. language bank at fall, illustrate, increase, proportion More Like This Verbs usually followed by infinitives afford, agree, appear, arrange, attempt, beg, choose, consent, decide, expect, fail, happen, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, manage, mean, neglect, offer, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse, swear, try, want, wishSee worksheet.
  2. 2  [transitive] (often used in the progressive tenses) to be waiting for somebody/something to arrive, as this has been arranged expect somebody/something to expect a visit/call/letter from somebody Are you expecting visitors? We were expecting him yesterday. expect somebody to do something We were expecting him to arrive yesterday.
  3. 3  [transitive] to demand that somebody will do something because it is their duty or responsibility expect something (from somebody) Her parents expected high standards from her. He's still getting over his illness, so don't expect too much from him. expect something (of somebody) Are you clear what is expected of you? expect somebody to do something They expected all their children to be high achievers. We are expected to work on Saturdays. expect to do something I expect to be paid promptly for the work. Synonymsdemandrequire expect insist askThese words all mean to say that somebody should do or have something.demand to ask for something very firmly; to say very firmly that somebody should have or do something:She demanded an immediate explanation.require [often passive] (rather formal) to make somebody do or have something, especially because it is necessary according to a law or set of rules or standards:All candidates will be required to take a short test.expect to demand that somebody should do, have or be something, especially because it is their duty or responsibility:I expect to be paid promptly for the work.insist to demand that something happens or that somebody agrees to do something:I didn’t want to go but he insisted. We insist on the highest standards at all times.ask to expect or demand something:You’re asking too much of him.demand, expect or ask? Ask is not as strong as demand or expect, both of which can be more like a command.Patterns to demand/​require/​expect/​ask something of/​from somebody to demand/​require/​expect/​insist/​ask that… to require/​expect/​ask somebody to do something to demand/​require/​expect/​ask a lot/​too much/​a great deal to be too much to expect/​ask
  4. 4  [intransitive, transitive] (informal, especially British English) (not used in the progressive tenses) used when you think something is probably true ‘Will you be late?’ ‘I expect so.’ ‘Are you going out tonight?’ ‘I don't expect so.’ expect (that…) ‘Who’s eaten all the cake?’ ‘Tom, I expect/I expect it was Tom.’ ‘That’ is nearly always left out.
  5. compare unexpected
    Word Origin mid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘defer action, wait’): from Latin exspectare ‘look out for’, from ex- ‘out’ + spectare ‘to look’ (frequentative of specere ‘see’).Extra examples As expected, they lost the election. Did you honestly expect me to believe that? I didn’t really expect them to come. I do not necessarily expect an easy answer to this question. I think my parents always expected too much of me. I was half expecting to see Jim at the concert. I would expect the factory to be working again as normal by next week. It would be foolish to expect this at his age. It would be unreasonable to expect them to do all that work for free. My parents fully expect us to get married. She confidently expects to win. The economy is widely expected to pick up in the first half of next year. The wine list is excellent, as is to be expected from such a high-class restaurant. They rightly expect to be obeyed. This kind of behaviour is to be expected from a two-year-old. Was she really naive enough to expect that he had changed? We can expect to see an improvement in the weather over the next few days. We expect good results from our employees. You are entitled to expect certain minimum standards of accommodation. You can hardly expect to learn a foreign language in a few months. You can’t seriously expect me to sympathize with you. ‘Are you going out tonight?’ ‘I don’t expect so.’ ‘Will Bill be there?’ ‘I expect so.’ Are you clear about what is expected of you? Don’t expect sympathy from me! Don’t expect too much from him. Double the expected number of people came to the meeting. Her parents expect high standards from her. I didn’t expect him to become a successful writer. I expect he’ll be late, as usual. I’m expecting an important call. Many people were expecting that the peace talks would break down. That’s not the sort of behaviour I expect of you.Idioms
    be expecting a baby/child
     
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     (informal) to be pregnant Ann's expecting a baby in June. See related entries: Pregnancy
    be (only) to be expected
     
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    to be likely to happen; to be quite normal A little tiredness after taking these drugs is to be expected.
    what (else) do you expect?
     
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    (informal) used to tell somebody not to be surprised by something She swore at you? What do you expect when you treat her like that?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: expect