expectancy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

expectant +‎ -cy or expect +‎ -ancy

Noun[edit]

expectancy (countable and uncountable, plural expectancies)

  1. Expectation or anticipation; the state of expecting something.
    • 1599, John Hayward, The First Part of the Life and Raigne of King Henrie IIII. Extending to the end of the first yeare of his raigne[1], London: John Woolfe, page 39:
      [] the Dukes dissembled their feares, and dissolued their forces, and remained in expectancie what would ensue.
    • 1651, John Milton, The Life and Reigne of King Charls[2], London: W. Reybold, page 110:
      If you foresee not this misery, and the fatall consequence which necessarily must follow such a turn of Fortune, I must leave you to your own will and expectancy []
    • 1735, Alexander Pope, “The Feast of Trimalchio, Imitaded”, in Mr. Pope’s Literary Correspondence[3], volume 2, London: E. Curll, pages 42-43:
      [] this is generally thought to represent the Vices of Nero, who [] did from the highest Expectancy become a stubborn and a foolish Tyrant.
    • 1847 October 16, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], chapter VIII, in Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. [], volume III, London: Smith, Elder, and Co., [], →OCLC, pages 201–202:
      Renewed hope followed renewed effort; it shone like the former for some weeks, then, like it, it faded, flickered: not a line, not a word reached me. When half a year wasted in vain expectancy, my hope died out; and then I felt dark indeed.
    • 1912, Saki, “The Match-Maker”, in The Chronicles of Clovis[4], London: John Lane, page 23:
      Six minutes later Clovis approached the supper-table, in the blessed expectancy of one who has dined sketchily and long ago.
  2. The state of being expected. (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought:)
  3. (law) Future interest as to possession or enjoyment
  4. (obsolete) Something expected or awaited.
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i]:
      O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!
      The courtier’s, scholar’s, soldier’s, eye, tongue, sword,
      Th’ expectancy and rose of the fair state []
    • 1791, John Trusler, chapter 9, in The Habitable World Described[5], volume 10, London: for the author, page 157:
      [] Frederic II. King of Prussia, in consequence of an expectancy granted to the house of Brandenburg, by the Emperor Leopold in 1604, took possession of East Friezland []

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