1530s, "state or condition of waiting or awaiting with confident anticipation," from French expectation (14c.) or directly from Latin expectationem/exspectationem (nominative expectatio/exspectatio) "anticipation, an awaiting," noun of action from past-participle stem of expectare/exspectare "await, look out for" (see expect). Related: Expectations "preconceived opinions as to what will likely take place;" in Dickens' "Great Expectations" it has the sense of "prospect of future good," as of possessions, advancement, etc. (1660s).
updated on December 08, 2020