# Estimate vs. Expected: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 2, 2023
An estimate refers to a rough calculation or judgment, while expected denotes something anticipated or predicted to happen.

## Key Differences

At a glance, "estimate" and "expected" both appear to relate to forecasting or predicting outcomes. However, their utilization and connotations distinguish them substantially. Estimate predominantly alludes to a rough calculation or judgment, especially regarding numerical values. For instance, construction companies offer an estimate of the total costs for a project. It's an approximation based on available data, but it's not definitive. On the other hand, expected embodies the act of anticipation or foreseeing a particular outcome based on certain factors. If a student has consistently scored high in previous exams, they are expected to perform similarly in the future.
Peeling back another layer, it becomes evident that estimate has a stronger association with uncertainty. When one provides an estimate, they're essentially offering their best guess, often hedged with conditions or caveats. Expected, however, leans more towards certainty. If a meteorologist notes that rain is expected tomorrow, it carries a more definitive weight than merely estimating the chances of rain.
In professional settings, the nuances between estimate and expected become even more pronounced. For instance, in project management, a time estimate for task completion may be provided, reflecting the best judgment based on available data. Yet, the date the project is expected to be finished might consider other factors, such as resource availability, dependencies, or previous trends, carrying a more definitive undertone.
One more dimension to consider is their grammatical nature. Estimate predominantly functions as both a noun ("an estimate of costs") and a verb ("to estimate the time required"). Expected, however, is primarily the past participle form of the verb "expect" and often functions adjectivally ("the expected outcome"). While their roots are in predicting and forecasting, their applications and implications vary considerably.

## Comparison Chart

### Nature

Rough calculation or judgment
Anticipation based on certain factors
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### Association

More uncertain
Leans towards certainty

### Professional Application

Offered as a best guess with conditions
More definitive, based on trends or data

### Grammatical Function

Primarily a noun and verb
Primarily the past participle of "expect"

### Context

Often numerical, related to quantity or time
Broader, related to outcomes or predictions

## Estimate and Expected Definitions

#### Estimate

An approximation of value.
The estimate for the car repair was \$500.
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#### Expected

Predicted based on data or trends.
Rain is expected in the afternoon.

#### Estimate

A rough calculation or judgment.
She gave an estimate of three weeks for the project completion.

#### Expected

Anticipated to occur.
The expected delivery date is tomorrow.

#### Estimate

A prediction based on limited data.
Based on previous sales, our estimate is 100 units next month.

#### Expected

Regarded as likely.
The expected outcome was a success.

#### Estimate

Judge tentatively or form an estimate of (quantities or time);
I estimate this chicken to weigh three pounds

#### Expected

Assumed as a given.
Guests are expected to arrive by 6 PM.

#### Estimate

To calculate approximately (the amount, extent, magnitude, position, or value of something).

#### Expected

To look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of
Expecting a phone call.
Expects rain on Sunday.

#### Estimate

To form an opinion about; evaluate
"While an author is yet living we estimate his powers by his worst performance" (Samuel Johnson).

#### Expected

To consider likely or certain
Expect to see them soon. See Usage Note at anticipate.

#### Estimate

A tentative evaluation or rough calculation, as of worth, quantity, or size
An estimate of the damage caused by the storm.

#### Expected

To consider reasonable or due
We expect an apology.

#### Estimate

A statement of the approximate cost of work to be done, such as a building project or car repairs.

#### Expected

To consider obligatory; require
The school expects its pupils to be on time.

#### Estimate

A judgment based on one's impressions; an opinion
I have a high estimate of his character.

#### Expected

(Informal) To presume; suppose.

#### Estimate

A rough calculation or assessment of the value, size, or cost of something.

#### Expected

To be pregnant. Used in progressive tenses
My wife is expecting again.

#### Estimate

(construction and business) A document (or verbal notification) specifying how much a job is likely to cost.

#### Expected

Anticipated; thought to be about to arrive or occur
The expected storm never arrived.

#### Estimate

An upper limitation on some positive quantity.

#### Expected

Simple past tense and past participle of expect

#### Estimate

To calculate roughly, often from imperfect data.

#### Expected

Considered likely or probable to happen or arrive;
Prepared for the expected attack

#### Estimate

To judge and form an opinion of the value of, from imperfect data.

#### Expected

Looked forward to as probable

#### Estimate

To judge and form an opinion of the value of, from imperfect data, - either the extrinsic (money), or intrinsic (moral), value; to fix the worth of roughly or in a general way; as, to estimate the value of goods or land; to estimate the worth or talents of a person.
It is by the weight of silver, and not the name of the piece, that men estimate commodities and exchange them.
It is always very difficult to estimate the age in which you are living.

#### Expected

Expected to become or be; in prospect;
Potential clients
Expected income

#### Estimate

To from an opinion of, as to amount,, number, etc., from imperfect data, comparison, or experience; to make an estimate of; to calculate roughly; to rate; as, to estimate the cost of a trip, the number of feet in a piece of land.

#### Expected

Set as a standard.
The expected protocol is to check in first.

#### Estimate

A valuing or rating by the mind, without actually measuring, weighing, or the like; rough or approximate calculation; as, an estimate of the cost of a building, or of the quantity of water in a pond.
Weigh success in a moral balance, and our whole estimate is changed.
No; dear as freedom is, and in my heart'sJust estimation prized above all price.

#### Estimate

An approximate calculation of quantity or degree or worth;
An estimate of what it would cost
A rough idea how long it would take

#### Estimate

A judgment of the qualities of something or somebody;
Many factors are involved in any estimate of human life
In my estimation the boy is innocent

#### Estimate

A document appraising the value of something (as for insurance or taxation)

#### Estimate

A statement indicating the likely cost of some job;
He got an estimate from the car repair shop

#### Estimate

The respect with which a person is held;
They had a high estimation of his ability

#### Estimate

Judge to be probable

#### Estimate

A professional statement of projected costs.
The contractor provided an estimate for the home renovation.

#### Estimate

An educated guess on an outcome.
I'd estimate the journey will take about 2 hours.

## FAQs

#### What is an estimate?

An estimate is a rough calculation or judgment, often related to quantity, time, or cost.

#### Is expected always certain?

While expected leans towards certainty, it's not absolute and can still be subject to change.

#### How does expected differ from estimate?

Expected refers to something that is anticipated or foreseen based on certain factors or data.

#### Can an estimate be precise?

Estimates are inherently approximate, but they can be close to actual values with more data.

#### How do professionals use estimate?

Professionals use estimates to provide a projected cost, time, or quantity based on available information.

#### Is expected future-oriented?

Primarily, yes. Expected usually refers to future outcomes or occurrences.

#### Why is expected used in forecasts?

Expected is used to indicate the most likely outcome based on current data or trends.

#### Are estimates always about numbers?

Not necessarily. Estimates can also refer to general predictions or approximations about non-numerical matters.

#### How do you use estimate in a sentence?

"I would estimate the project will take two weeks."

#### Can something be both an estimate and expected?

Yes, something can be estimated and then become expected once more information is available.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.