AskDefine | Define anticipate

Dictionary Definition



1 regard something as probable or likely; "The meteorologists are expecting rain for tomorrow" [syn: expect]
2 act in advance of; deal with ahead of time [syn: foresee, forestall, counter]
3 realize beforehand [syn: previse, foreknow, foresee]
4 make a prediction about; tell in advance; "Call the outcome of an election" [syn: predict, foretell, prognosticate, call, forebode, promise]
5 be excited or anxious about [syn: look for, look to]
6 be a forerunner of or occur earlier than; "This composition anticipates Impressionism"

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin anticipatus, perfect passive participle of anticipare, anticipate; from ante, before, + capere, take. See Capable.


  • (WEAE) /ænˈtɪs.ə.peyt/


  1. To act before (someone), especially to prevent an action
    To anticipate and prevent the duke's purpose. --R. Hall.
    He would probably have died by the hand of the executioner, if indeed the executioner had not been anticipated by the populace. --Macaulay.
  2. to take up or introduce (something) prematurely
    The advocate plans to anticipate a part of her argument.
  3. to know of (something) before it manifests
    to anticipate the pleasures of a visit
    to anticipate the evils of life
    Please anticipate a journey of an hour from your house to the airport

Usage notes

The words anticipate and expect both regard some future event as likely to take place. Nowadays they are often used interchangeably although anticipate is associated with acting because of an expectation. (E.g. skilled sportsmen anticipate the action and position themselves accordingly.)


  • (to act before someone): preclude
  • (to take up or introduce something prematurely):
  • (to know of something before it manifests): expect, foretaste, foresee

Related terms


To act before someone
To take up or introduce something prematurely
To know of something before it manifests



  1. Form of Second-person plural imperative, anticipare#Italian|anticipare

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

announce, antecede, antedate, anticipation, apprehend, approach, avert, await, bar, be before, be destined, be early, be fated, be imminent, be to be, be to come, come, come before, come on, contemplate, count on, debar, deflect, deter, discourage, dishearten, divine, draw near, draw on, dread, envisage, envision, estop, exclude, expect, expectation, face, fend, fend off, forbid, forecast, foreclose, foreglimpse, foreknow, forerun, foresee, forestall, foretaste, foretell, get ahead of, go before, go off half-cocked, have in mind, help, herald, hope, intercept, jump the gun, keep from, keep off, lie ahead, look ahead, look beyond, look for, look forward to, look out for, loom, near, nullify, obviate, plan, plot, precede, preclude, precurse, predate, predict, preexist, prepare for, presage, presume, prevent, prevision, proclaim, prohibit, project, prophesy, reckon on, repel, rule out, save, see, see ahead, see beforehand, stave off, take for granted, think, threaten, turn aside, usher in, visualize, ward off, win the start
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1