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, London: John Woolfe, p. 39,[1]
      [] 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, London: W. Reybold, p. 110,[2]
      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, Mr. Pope’s Literary Correspondence, London: E. Curll, Volume 2, “The Feast of Trimalchio, Imitaded,” pp. 42-43,[3]
      [] this is generally thought to represent the Vices of Nero, who [] did from the highest Expectancy become a stubborn and a foolish Tyrant.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Chapter 34,[4]
      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, London: John Lane, p. 23,[5]
      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. (obsolete) Something expected or awaited.
    • c. 1600, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1,[6]
      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, The Habitable World Described, London, for the author, Volume 10, Chapter 9, p. 157,[7]
      [] 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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