ex ‧ pect S1 W1 /ɪkˈspekt/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ expectancy , ↑ expectation ; adverb : ↑ expectantly , ↑ unexpectedly ; adjective : ↑ expectant , expected ≠ ↑ unexpected ; verb : ↑ expect ]
[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: exspectare 'to look forward to' , from spectare 'to look at' ]
1 . THINK SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN to think that something will happen because it seems likely or has been planned
expect to do something
I expect to be back within a week.
The company expects to complete work in April.
expect somebody/something to do something
Emergency repairs were expected to take three weeks.
I didn’t expect him to stay so long.
There’s the doorbell – I expect it’ll be my mother.
He will be hard to beat. I fully expect (=am completely sure about) that and I’m ready.
‘Who are you?’ he murmured, only half expecting (=thinking it was possible, but not likely) her to answer.
He didn’t get his expected pay rise.
as expected (=in the way that was planned or thought likely to happen)
As expected, the whole family was shocked by the news.
something is (only) to be expected (=used to say that you are not surprised by something, especially something unpleasant)
A little nervousness is only to be expected when you are starting a new job.
2 . DEMAND to demand that someone does something because it is a duty or seems reasonable
expect something from somebody
The officer expects complete obedience from his troops.
expect somebody to do something
I can’t expect her to be on time if I’m late myself.
expect a lot of somebody/expect too much of somebody (=think someone can do more than may be possible)
The school expects a lot of its students.
3 . THINK SOMEBODY/SOMETHING WILL ARRIVE to believe that someone or something is going to arrive:
We’re expecting Alison home any minute now.
Snow is expected by the weekend.
an expected crowd of 80,000 people
4 . THINK to think that you will find that someone or something has a particular quality or does a particular thing:
I expected her to be taller than me, not shorter.
5 . be expecting (a baby) if a woman is expecting, she is going to have a baby
6 . what can/do you expect? spoken used to say that you are not surprised by something unpleasant or disappointing:
He was late, but what do you expect?
7 . how do/can you expect ...? spoken used to say that it is unreasonable to think that something will happen or be true:
If I can’t help her, how can you expect to?
8 . I expect British English spoken used to introduce or agree with a statement that you think is probably true:
I expect you’re right.
‘Do you think they’re going to attack?’ ‘I expect so.’
• • •
▪ fully expect (=completely)
We fully expected to win.
▪ confidently expect (=with a feeling of confidence)
He confidently expected to be elected again.
▪ half expect (=partly, but not completely)
He walked slowly towards the box, half expecting it to explode.
▪ really expect (=definitely)
I didn’t really expect her to come.
▪ honestly expect (=really expect)
Do you honestly expect me to look after the kids while you go on holiday?
▪ hardly expect (=almost not)
You can hardly expect a child of three to know the difference between right and wrong.
▪ rightly expect (=with good reason)
The public rightly expects government officials to be honest.
▪ as expected (=in the way that was planned or thought likely to happen)
Tickets have not been selling as well as expected.
▪ something is (only) to be expected (=used to say that you are not surprised by something unpleasant)
After all this rain, some flooding is only to be expected.
▪ something happens when you least expect it
Bad luck tends to happen when you least expect it.
▪ somebody is entitled to expect something (=have the right to think something will happen)
You’re entitled to expect decent service at these prices.
▪ it is reasonable/unreasonable to expect something
It’s unreasonable to expect a tenant to pay for repairs to the outside of the house.