verb (used with object), an·tic·i·pat·ed, an·tic·i·pat·ing.
- to realize beforehand; foretaste or foresee: to anticipate pleasure.
- to expect; look forward to; be sure of: to anticipate a favorable decision.
- to perform (an action) before another has had time to act.
- to answer (a question), obey (a command), or satisfy (a request) before it is made: He anticipated each of my orders.
- to nullify, prevent, or forestall by taking countermeasures in advance: to anticipate a military attack.
- to consider or mention before the proper time: to anticipate more difficult questions.
- to be before (another) in doing, thinking, achieving, etc.: Many modern inventions were anticipated by Leonardo da Vinci.
- to expend (funds) before they are legitimately available for use.
- to discharge (an obligation) before it is due.
verb (used without object), an·tic·i·pat·ed, an·tic·i·pat·ing.
- to think, speak, act, or feel an emotional response in advance.
verb (mainly tr)
- (may take a clause as object) to foresee and act in advance ofhe anticipated the fall in value by selling early
- to thwart by acting in advance of; forestallI anticipated his punch by moving out of reach
- (also intr) to mention (something) before its proper timedon’t anticipate the climax of the story
- (may take a clause as object) to regard as likely; expect; foreseehe anticipated that it would happen
- to make use of in advance of possessionhe anticipated his salary in buying a house
- to pay (a bill, etc) before it falls due
- to cause to happen soonerthe spread of nationalism anticipated the decline of the Empire
1530s, “to cause to happen sooner,” a back-formation from anticipatus, past participle of anticipare “take (care of) ahead of time,” literally “taking into possession beforehand,” from ante “before” (see ) + capere “to take” (see )., or else from Latin
Later “to be aware of (something) coming at a future time” (1640s). Used in the sense of “expect, look forward to” since 1749, but anticipate has an element of “prepare for, forestall” that should prevent its being used as a synonym for expect. Related: Anticipated; anticipating.