anticipate


anticipate
anticipate
1. Here lies another of the great usage battlegrounds, where the conflict is all the more fraught for overlapping meanings that confuse the issue. The two primary and undisputed meanings are (1) to be aware of (a thing) in advance and act accordingly (e.g.

• Lecky has anticipated what the animal liberationists are now saying —Listener, 1983)

and (2) to forestall (a person) and take action before they do (e.g.

• I'm sorry —do go on, I did not mean to anticipate you —John Le Carré).

2. Fowler scornfully rejected a third meaning, to expect or foresee (e.g.

• Wing mirrors were selling better than they had ever anticipated —Margaret Drabble, 1987

• They have every right to be there, and we do not anticipate any change in that status —USA Today, 1988

• One would not expect Cleopatra to have suffered such a fate, nor did she herself anticipate it —A. Fraser, 1988).

This meaning was formerly classed as ‘disputed’ in successive editions of the Concise Oxford Dictionary but in the current (2006) edition, and in the larger Oxford Dictionary of English (2003), it is placed first without any comment as (comfortably) the dominant sense, with the definition ‘to regard as probable’. Like expect, it can be followed either by a noun or noun phrase (She anticipated scorn on her return to the theatre) or by a that-clause (It was anticipated that the rains would slow the military campaign). Despite its wide currency, however, it can still irritate more traditional readers (and listeners), perhaps because it is an ugly word compared with the more elegant and straightforward alternative expect.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Anticipate — An*tic i*pate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Anticipated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Anticipating}.] [L. anticipatus, p. p. of anticipare to anticipate; ante + capere to make. See {Capable}.] 1. To be before in doing; to do or take before another; to preclude or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • anticipate — [an tis′ə pāt΄] vt. anticipated, anticipating [< L anticipatus, pp. of anticipare < ante , before + * capare < capere, to take: see HAVE] 1. to look forward to; expect [to anticipate a pleasant vacation] 2. to make happen earlier;… …   English World dictionary

  • anticipate — UK US /ænˈtɪsɪpeɪt/ verb [T] ► to imagine or expect that something will happen: anticipate problems/difficulties »It s always best to anticipate problems before they arise. »The anticipated inflation figure is lower than last month s. anticipate… …   Financial and business terms

  • anticipate — an·tic·i·pate /an ti sə ˌpāt/ vt pat·ed, pat·ing 1: to bar or invalidate (a patent) by anticipation the patent on the compound had been anticipated by the Beilstein reference Misani v. Ortho Pharm. Corp., 210 A.2d 609 (1965) 2: to negate the… …   Law dictionary

  • anticipate — (v.) 1530s, to cause to happen sooner, a back formation from ANTICIPATION (Cf. anticipation), or else from L. anticipatus, pp. of anticipare take (care of) ahead of time, lit. taking into possession beforehand, from ante before (see ANTE (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • anticipate — [v1] expect; predict assume, await, bargain for*, be afraid*, conjecture, count chickens*, count on, cross the bridge*, divine, entertain*, figure, forecast, foresee, foretaste, foretell, have a hunch*, hope for, jump the gun*, look for, look… …   New thesaurus

  • anticipate — 1 forestall, *prevent Analogous words: introduce, *enter: *foretell, forecast, presage: *frustrate, thwart, balk Antonyms: consummate Contrasted words: finish, complete, terminate, * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • anticipate — ► VERB 1) be aware of (a future event) and prepare for it. 2) regard as probable. 3) look forward to. 4) act or happen before. DERIVATIVES anticipator noun anticipatory adjective. ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

  • anticipate — an|tic|i|pate S3 [ænˈtısıpeıt] v [T] [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: , past participle of anticipare, from ante ( ANTE ) + capere to take ] 1.) to expect that something will happen and be ready for it ▪ Sales are better than anticipated.… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • anticipate */*/ — UK [ænˈtɪsɪpeɪt] / US [ænˈtɪsɪˌpeɪt] verb [transitive] Word forms anticipate : present tense I/you/we/they anticipate he/she/it anticipates present participle anticipating past tense anticipated past participle anticipated 1) to think that… …   English dictionary