American English

Definition of expect verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they expect
    he / she / it expects
    past simple expected
    -ing form expecting
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  1. 1[transitive] to think or believe that something will happen or that someone 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 behavior 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.
  2. 2[transitive] (often used in the progressive tenses) to be waiting for someone or something to arrive, as this has been arranged expect somebody/something to expect a visit/call/letter from someone 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 someone 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 the flu, 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. Thesaurusdemandexpect insist ask requireThese words all mean to say that someone should do or have something.demand to ask for something very firmly; to say very firmly that someone should have or do something:She demanded an immediate explanation.expect to demand that someone 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 someone agrees to do something:She insisted that I go with her. 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.require [often passive] (somewhat formal) to make someone 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.Patterns to demand/expect/ask/require something of/from somebody to demand/expect/insist/ask/require that… to expect/ask/require somebody to do something to demand/expect/ask/require a lot/too much/a great deal to be too much to expect/ask
  4. 4[intransitive, transitive] (informal) (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. compare unexpected
  5. Language Bankexpectdiscussing predictions The number of people using cell 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 cell 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 cell phone users worldwide will be participating in social networks via their phone. Sales of cell phones in 2010 were lower than expected. The company's announcement of 1.26 billion handsets sold for the year is in line with predictions.Idioms
    be expecting (a baby/child) (informal)
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    to be pregnant Ann's expecting a baby in June.
    be (only) to be expected
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    to be likely to happen; to be normal A little tiredness after taking these drugs is to be expected.
    what (else) do you expect? (informal)
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    used to tell someone not to be surprised by something She swore at you? What do you expect when you treat her like that?
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: expect