ex·pec·ta·tion | \ ˌek-ˌspek-ˈtā-shən , 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, -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 governor files a final spending plan after the end of every fiscal year — to pay, for example, bills that exceeded expectations on, say, health care for the poor. Joshua Miller, BostonGlobe.com, "Governor Baker proposes $72 million for school safety," 13 July 2018 James West, an analyst with Evercore ISI in New York, said the sale exceeds expectations somewhat because the anticipated sales price was closer to $250 million. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Weatherford finally sells its Middle East land rig business," 12 July 2018 With a pair of Rule 5 acquisitions, the Royals landed two pitchers who exceeded expectations in the bullpen and found spots in the starting rotation of a club on pace for a franchise record in losses. Maria Torres, kansascity, "The Royals’ rotation is falling apart. They may have found hope in another Rule 5 get," 11 July 2018 Although many fans were heartbroken, English newspapers were quick to celebrate the team's role in bringing the counrty together and exceeding expectations at the world's biggest tournament. Nihal Kolur, SI.com, "English Newspapers Celebrate World Cup Team After Heartbreaking Loss," 11 July 2018 The Jaguares exceeded all expectations as the squad recently traveled to Marietta, Georgia and won the championship in the prestigious South Challenge Regional Cup Tournament at Life University. Emmett Hall, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Florida Jaguares make impressive debut with U.S. regional rugby title," 9 July 2018 Russia — which beat Spain in the Round of 16 in one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever — has exceeded expectations, which were quite low entering the tournament. USA TODAY, "FIFA World Cup: Quarterfinal schedule, TV time and storylines for Saturday, July 7," 6 July 2018 Many criticized Pacers president Kevin Pritchard for making the move then praised him when Oladipo (and Sabonis) exceeded expectations. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "Paul George is staying in Oklahoma City and Twitter can't believe it," 1 July 2018 Under Bosio’s watch, the Tigers pitching staff exceeded expectations over the first 80 games of the season, despite working with numerous inexperienced pitchers. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Tigers fire pitching coach Bosio without manager Gardenhire's input," 27 June 2018

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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Statistics for expectation

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expectation

The first known use of expectation was in 1540

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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 \

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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