from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To see as a probable occurrence; expect.
  • intransitive verb To think of (a future event) with pleasure; look forward to.
  • intransitive verb To deal with beforehand; act so as to mitigate, nullify, or prevent: synonym: expect.
  • intransitive verb To react to (someone) abruptly, especially to prevent someone from continuing or progressing.
  • intransitive verb To serve as a forerunner to or previous indication of.
  • intransitive verb To use in advance, as income not yet available.
  • intransitive verb To pay (a debt) before it is due.
  • intransitive verb To think, speak, or write about a matter in advance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Latin anticipāre, anticipāt-, to take before : ante-, ante- + capere, to take; see kap- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin anticipatus, perfect passive participle of anticipare ("anticipate"); from ante ("before"), + capere ("take"). See Capable.



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  • This means you are expecting something and preparing for it.

    December 24, 2006

  • No one can anticipate the results of the games.

    April 7, 2007