ex·​pec·​ta·​tion | \ ˌek-ˌspek-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce expectation (audio) , ik-\

Definition of expectation

1 : the act or state of expecting : anticipation in expectation of what would happen
2a : something expected not up to expectations expectations for an economic recovery
b : basis for expecting : assurance they have every expectation of success
c : prospects of inheritance usually used in plural
3 : the state of being expected

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Other Words from expectation

expectational \ ˌek-​ˌspek-​ˈtā-​shə-​nᵊl How to pronounce expectational (audio) , -​shnəl \ adjective

Examples of expectation in a Sentence

The company has expectations of making a profit next year. I saved the files in the expectation that they would be useful in the future. There is widespread expectation that the strike will be settled soon. The crowd waited in expectation of her arrival.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Padres believe those expectations have dropped, but there remains quite a gap to bridge. K.c. Alfred/the San Diego Union-tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres notes: Luis Perdomo starts well, draft talk, Hedges update," 10 June 2019 There's also the expectation that summer will likely be as wet as spring, according to Ryan of NWS. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "With billions of dollars on the line, Indiana farmers scramble to get their crops planted," 10 June 2019 There’s also an expectation that there will be a growing demand to address population health and an industrywide shift from inpatient care to outpatient care. Jan Burns, Houston Chronicle, "Hiring for nurses remains vibrant," 9 June 2019 The Lionesses came into this tournament with more expectation on their shoulders than ever before, but looked confident in the opening exchanges. SI.com, "England 2-1 Scotland: Report, Ratings and Reaction as Lionesses Make Winning Start to World Cup," 9 June 2019 Regarded as one of the Brewers' top prospects at that point, the 25-year-old left-hander has gone on to exceed just about everyone's expectations since then by developing into arguably the game's most dominating reliever. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two years ago today, Josh Hader was called up to the major leagues by the Brewers," 9 June 2019 The trouble is that the payouts have not lived up to many Chileans’ inflated expectations. The Economist, "Chile tinkers with its ground-breaking pensions system," 8 June 2019 Bond yields fell after the jobs data was released, signaling expectations for lower Fed rates. Christopher Rugaber, Anchorage Daily News, "US hiring slows amid trade tensions and weaker global economy," 7 June 2019 Gold prices climbed for the eighth consecutive session Friday, nearing their February 10-month peaks after May hiring data missed expectations and stoked further fears of a U.S. economic slowdown. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Gold Extends Rally After Softer-Than-Expected Jobs Report," 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expectation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of expectation

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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More Definitions for expectation



English Language Learners Definition of expectation

: a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen
: a feeling or belief about how successful, good, etc., someone or something will be


ex·​pec·​ta·​tion | \ ˌek-ˌspek-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce expectation (audio) \

Kids Definition of expectation

1 : the state of looking forward to or waiting for something The crowd waited in expectation for her.
2 : something expected The expectation was for a win.

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Comments on expectation

What made you want to look up expectation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

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