To anticipate something is to be expecting it. Your dog might be waiting by the door, anticipating his next walk or squirrel chase.

Anticipating something” also often implies that you are preparing to take some action because of your expectations — like when you anticipate your chess opponent’s next move and plan a counterattack. The word anticipate can also mean “to come beforehand” — as in a certain musical trend anticipating another.

Definitions of anticipate
  1. verb

    regard something as probable or likely


    await, expect, look, wait

    look forward to the probable occurrence of
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    guess, imagine, opine, reckon, suppose, think

    expect, believe, or suppose
    assume, presume, take for granted

    take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof
    conjecture, hypothecate, hypothesise, hypothesize, speculate, suppose, theorise, theorize

    to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
    believe, trust

    be confident about something
    construct, reconstruct, retrace

    reassemble mentally
    presuppose, suppose

    take for granted or as a given; suppose beforehand

    hold in suspicion; believe to be guilty
    develop, explicate, formulate

    elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses
    type of:

    evaluate, judge, pass judgment

    form a critical opinion of

  2. verb

    be excited or anxious about

    look for, look to
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    apprehend, quail at

    anticipate with dread or anxiety
    type of:

    await, expect, look, wait

    look forward to the probable occurrence of

  3. verb

    realize beforehand

    foreknow, foresee, previse
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    type of:


    be aware of the truth of something; have a belief or faith in something; regard as true beyond any doubt

  4. verb

    act in advance of; deal with ahead of time

    counter, foresee, forestall
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    type of:

    act, move

    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)

  5. verb

    make a prediction about; tell in advance

    call, forebode, foretell, predict, prognosticate, promise
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    interpret the significance of, as of palms, tea leaves, intestines, the sky; also of human behavior
    outguess, second-guess

    attempt to anticipate or predict

    predict from an omen
    bet, wager

    maintain with or as if with a bet
    calculate, forecast

    predict in advance
    prophesy, vaticinate

    predict or reveal through, or as if through, divine inspiration

    divine by gazing into crystals

    foretell through or as if through the power of prophecy
    enlighten, irradiate

    give spiritual insight to; in religion
    type of:

    guess, hazard, pretend, venture

    put forward, of a guess, in spite of possible refutation

  6. verb

    be a forerunner of or occur earlier than

    “This composition
    anticipates Impressionism”

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