1. to do/think something before someone else
anticipate something before it happens, in anticipation of its launch
To 'anticipate' something means to think of it or plan for it before it happens. You might bring an umbrella to work because you anticipate rain later on in the day. To anticipate something is to predict it. Similar in meaning to 'pre-empt' or 'forecast'. You will hear this used in social or professional contexts.