Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “expectation”

expectation

noun     /ˌek.spekˈteɪ.ʃən/
B2 [C usually plural] the feeling that good things are going to happen in the future: The holiday lived up to all our expectations (= was as good as we were expecting). I have high expectations for this job (= I believe it will be good). We did so well - beyond all (= better than) our expectations. I think she had unrealistic expectations of motherhood.Hoping and hopefulnessPotential [C or U] the feeling of expecting something to happen: Considering the injuries he's had there can be little expectation of him winning the race. Our expectations are that the UK will cut its interest rate.Planning, expecting and arrangingPlotting and trapping against/contrary to all expectations different from what is expected: Contrary to all expectations, she was accepted by the academy.Surprising and shockingMaking people sad, shocked and upset
(Definition of expectation noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of expectation

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Planning, expecting and arranging, but you might be interested in these topics from the Thinking about the future topic area:

Definitions of “expectation” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

friendship

a situation in which two people are friends

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More