Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To feel or realize beforehand; foresee: hadn't anticipated the crowds at the zoo.
  • transitive v. To look forward to, especially with pleasure; expect: anticipated a pleasant hike in the country.
  • transitive v. To deal with beforehand; act so as to mitigate, nullify, or prevent: anticipated the storm by boarding up the windows. See Synonyms at expect.
  • transitive v. To cause to happen in advance; accelerate.
  • transitive v. To use in advance, as income not yet available.
  • transitive v. To pay (a debt) before it is due.
  • intransitive v. To think, speak, or write about a matter in advance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To act before (someone), especially to prevent an action.
  • v. to take up or introduce (something) prematurely.
  • v. to know of (something) before it happens; to expect.
  • v. to eagerly wait for (something)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To be before in doing; to do or take before another; to preclude or prevent by prior action.
  • transitive v. To take up or introduce beforehand, or before the proper or normal time; to cause to occur earlier or prematurely.
  • transitive v. To foresee (a wish, command, etc.) and do beforehand that which will be desired.
  • transitive v. To foretaste or foresee; to have a previous view or impression of

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To seize or take beforehand.
  • To be before in doing something; take action in advance of; precede, prevent, or preclude by prior action.
  • To take, do, use, etc., before the proper time; precipitate, as an action or event: as, the advocate has anticipated that part of his argument.
  • To realize beforehand; foretaste or foresee; have a view or impression of beforehand; look forward to; expect: as, I never anticipated such a disaster; to anticipate the pleasures of an entertainment.
  • To occupy the attention of before the proper time.
  • Synonyms To get the start of, forestall.
  • To forecast, count upon, prepare one's self for, calculate upon.
  • To treat of something, as in a narrative, before the proper time.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. realize beforehand
  • v. act in advance of; deal with ahead of time
  • v. be excited or anxious about
  • v. regard something as probable or likely
  • v. make a prediction about; tell in advance
  • v. be a forerunner of or occur earlier than

Etymologies

Latin anticipāre, anticipāt-, to take before : ante-, ante- + capere, to take; see kap- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin anticipatus, perfect passive participle of anticipare ("anticipate"); from ante ("before"), + capere ("take"). See Capable. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What one may not so easily anticipate is the proverbial axe falling on a loved one while you stand helplessly by wishing it could be you instead of them but knowing full well that you do not get to make that choice.

    Paul Kerr: My Beautiful Bald Wife

  • Yours truly just took this test and scored 84.8% (some of the questions were harder than you might anticipate from a test like this) … and I happen to be a lifelong liberal Democrat!

    Think Progress » Beck condemns O’Keefe’s operation: ‘If they were doing that — that’s Watergate. Insanely stupid and illegal.’

  • Use 1 or 2% for increased benefits on those who had higher incomes and the balance to help fund the program ... including reducing debt today in anticipate of the baby boomer crunch.

    Defending Social Security, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • What I didn't anticipate is how much he would continue the very worst of Bush policies, particularly in the "national security" arena (refusing to enforce the law in particular).

    Yes, it does (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • The really hard thing to anticipate is the completely game-changing advances that occur every so often.

    Boing Boing

  • What most people anticipate is that he would help her pay off the debt by asking his own contributors to chip in (with new contributions), or perhaps headlining a fundraiser or series of fundraisers for her.

    The Time Bomb in Hillary Clinton’s Bank Account - Swampland - TIME.com

  • The correct course of action, which the markets now anticipate, is that the banks should make a rights issue to their shareholders to raise money to offset the losses that they have to own up to.

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • In short, they advocate censorship — an example of what we can anticipate from a politically active military.

    Letters to the Editor

  • Aagcobb: What I would actually anticipate is that the prime numbers would be the beginning of the message; just to kind of let us know its there, and it would be followed by substantial mathmatical information which wouldn't leave any serious doubt as to the fact that it was a designed message.

    A Message About ID

  • What I would actually anticipate is that the prime numbers would be the beginning of the message; just to kind of let us know its there, and it would be followed by substantial mathmatical information which wouldn't leave any serious doubt as to the fact that it was a designed message.

    A Message About ID

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