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.]


To be before in doing; to do or take before another; to preclude or prevent by prior action.

To anticipate and prevent the duke's purpose. R. Hall.

He would probably have died by the hand of the executioner, if indeed the executioner had not been anticipated by the populace. Macaulay.


To take up or introduce beforehand, or before the proper or normal time; to cause to occur earlier or prematurely; as, the advocate has anticipated a part of his argument.


To foresee (a wish, command, etc.) and do beforehand that which will be desired.


To foretaste or foresee; to have a previous view or impression of; as, to anticipate the pleasures of a visit; to anticipate the evils of life.

Syn. -- To prevent; obviate; preclude; forestall; expect. -- To Anticipate, Expect. These words, as here compared, agree in regarding some future event as about to take place. Expect is the stringer. It supposes some ground or reason in the mind for considering the event as likely to happen. Anticipate is, literally, to take beforehand, and here denotes simply to take into the mind as conception of the future. Hence, to say, "I did not anticipate a refusal," expresses something less definite and strong than to say, " did not expect it." Still, anticipate is a convenient word to be interchanged with expect in cases where the thought will allow.

Good with bad Expect to hear; supernal grace contending With sinfulness of men. Milton.

I would not anticipate the relish of any happiness, nor feel the weight of any misery, before it actually arrives. Spectator.

Timid men were anticipating another civil war. Macaulay.


© Webster 1913.

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