Anticipation. All very well to fling it out as the weekend theme, but…

So I went browsing online definitions

Loads of them (I popped them at the end of the post). So many seemed to think it a pleasurable emotion /act.

Personally I think it could be a waste of emotional energy. Creating the reaction before the event.

Maybe that is a waste.


But then towards the end of all these definitions there was this smarty who defined it as USEFUL, to help plan reactions in advance.

And then, there is always ANTICIPATION – as in the Rocky Horror Picture Show





  1. 1.        n.) The act of anticipating, taking up, placing, or considering something beforehand, or before the proper time in natural order.
  2. 2.        (n.) The commencing of one or more tones of a chord with or during the chord preceding, forming a momentary discord.
  3. 3.        (n.) Previous view or impression of what is to happen; instinctive prevision; foretaste; antepast; as, the anticipation of the joys of heaven.
  4. (n.) Hasty notion; intuitive preconception.

Or this one


  1. 1.        The action of anticipating something; expectation or prediction.
  2. 2.        The introduction in a composition of part of a chord that is about to follow in full.

expectation – expectancy – expectance – prevision


OR this

The word ‘anticipation’ means ‘eagerly await’ or it could mean ‘expectation’ it also means “look forward to”

Or this

Anticipation, or being enthusiastic, is an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good event.

Or these

As a defence mechanism

George Eman Vaillant considered anticipation as one of “the mature ways of dealing with real stress… You reduce the stress of some difficult challenge by anticipating what it will be like and preparing for how you are going to deal with it”. There is evidence that “the use of mature defences (sublimation, anticipation) tended to increase with age”.


“Anticipation is the central ingredient in sexual desire.” As ‘sex has a major cognitive component – the most important element for desire is positive anticipation’: indeed, one name for pleasurable anticipation is excitement.

More generally, anticipation is a central motivating force in everyday life – ‘the normal process of imaginative anticipation of, or speculation about, the future’. To enjoy one’s life, ‘one needs a belief in Time as a promising medium to do things in; one needs to be able to suffer the pains and pleasures of anticipation and deferral’.


For Husserl, anticipation is an essential feature of human action. ‘In every action we know the goal in advance in the form of an anticipation that is “empty”, in the sense of vague…and [we] seek by our action to bring it step by step to concrete realization’.

Anticipation can be shown in many ways; for example, some people seem to smile uncontrollably during this period, while others seem ill or sick. It is not uncommon for the brain to be so focused on an event, that the body is affected in such a way. Stage fright is a type of anticipation, stemming from the actor or actress hoping that they perform well.



21 thoughts on “Anticipation

  1. I have yet to see that movie, but I anticipate that I will at some point… and that I will thoroughly enjoy it, as I have no real expectation of what it will be like.

    In anticipation of my b’day later this week, I bought myself a digital piano… 🙂

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