1 : a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen [count] ▪ Their expectation was [=they expected] that the plan would succeed. ▪ The company has expectations of making a profit next year. [noncount] ▪ 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.
▪ They have every expectation of success. [=they believe they will succeed]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]
▪ They have every expectation of success. [=they believe they will succeed]