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The performance of an act or obligation before it is legally due. In patent law, the publication of the existence of an invention that has already been patented or has a patent pending, which are grounds for denying a patent to an invention that has substantially the same structure and function as the earlier invention.

In the law of Negligence, anticipation refers to the knowledge that there is a reasonable probability that the consequences of particular conduct of one individual will result in injury to others.

The anticipation of an invention also occurs if the later invention is merely an Adaptation of an earlier patent, which would be obvious to a skilled person who need only exercise some mechanical skill to develop the same adaptation.


(Expectation), noun apprehension, divination, forecast, foreseeing, foresight, insight, intuition, preconception, prediction, prescience, presentiment, prolepsis, second sight


(Likelihood), noun contemplation, foreboding, forecast, hope, outlook, possibility, preconception, preoccupation, presumption, prevision, probability, prospect
Associated concepts: anticipation of income, anticipation of injuries
See also: advancement, expectation, forethought, likelihood, loan, outlook, possibility, precaution, preconception, preparation, presumption, probability, prospect

ANTICIPATION. The act of doing or taking a thing before its proper time.
     2. In deeds of trust there is frequently a provision that the income of the estate shall be paid by the trustee as it shall accrue, and not by way of anticipation. A payment made contrary to such provision would not be considered as a discharge of the trustee.

References in classic literature ?
They say the captain will never point the ship for the land so long as he has in anticipation a mess of fresh meat.
A considerable literature of military forecasts, beginning as early as 1906 with Rudolf Martin, the author not merely of a brilliant book of anticipations, but of a proverb, "The future of Germany lies in the air," had, however, partially prepared the German imagination for some such enterprise.
He went with the fairest anticipations, pausing on the threshold to peer through the hole in the little house called "Pay Here," which he thought was Red Riding Hood's residence, and asked politely whether he might see her, but they said she had gone to the wood, and it was quite true, for there she was in the wood gathering a stick for her grandmother's fire.
Of course, she looked forward to it with the wildest impatience, and the most extravagant anticipations of delight.
Anne went home with the usual joyous anticipations -- which were not wholly fulfilled.
My anticipations were not fulfilled; no apparition showed itself.
Our mere anticipations of life outrun its realities.
Later in the day I contrived that we should be left together, and I soon found that my anticipations had not misled me.
With best thanks and remembrances, and many delightful anticipations of your next letter, believe me, dear Mr.
Before many years elapsed, the business began to be carried on in the names of 'Cheeryble and Nickleby,' so that Mrs Nickleby's prophetic anticipations were realised at last.
Her last letter was full of present bliss, and pleasing anticipations for the future; but no particular temptation has yet occurred to put his virtue to the test.
My spirits were elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the present was tranquil, and the future gilded by bright rays of hope and anticipations of joy.