American English

Definition of expectation noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, countable] a belief that something will happen because it is likely expectation (of something) We are confident in our expectation of a full recovery. expectation (that…) There was a general expectation that he would win. The expectation is that property prices will rise. I applied for the position more in hope than expectation. Contrary to expectations, interest rates did not rise. Against all expectations, she was enjoying herself.
  2. 2[countable, usually plural, uncountable] a hope that something good will happen She went to college with great expectations. There was an air of expectation. The results exceeded our expectations. The numbers attending fell short of expectations. The event did not live up to expectations.
  3. 3[countable, usually plural] a strong belief about the way something should happen or how someone should behave Some parents have unrealistic expectations of their children. Unfortunately the new software has failed to meet expectations.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: expectation