Learner's definition of EXPECTATION
1 : a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen
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.
◊ To have every expectation of something is to feel very sure that it will happen.
2 [count] : a feeling or belief about how successful, good, etc., someone or something will be — usually plural
Expectations for the team were high. [=people expected the team to do very well]
We've had to lower our expectations for the festival. [=to expect that the festival will not be as successful, big, etc., as we originally thought it would be]
We need to have more realistic expectations about when the house will be finished. [=to accept that the house will not be finished as soon as we thought it would be]
We're living in a time of diminished/rising expectations.
He found it hard to live up to their expectations. [=to do as well as they expected him to do]
The company failed to match/meet expectations. [=to be as successful as people thought it would be]
The restaurant has succeeded beyond (all) expectations. = The restaurant has exceeded expectations. [=it is more successful than people thought it would be]
Company earnings were not up to expectations. = Earnings fell short of expectations. [=the company did not earn as much money as people thought it would earn]
Contrary to expectations, all of the birds survived. = Against (all) expectations, the birds survived. [=the birds survived although people did not think they would]