Against (all) expectations – Definition & Meaning


When something happens that is unexpected, it can be a surprise, a shock or a revelation. When something happens against all expectations, it takes on a different meaning altogether. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of the phrase “against (all) expectations” and its origins, as well as its associations, synonyms, and antonyms.


The phrase “against (all) expectations” means that something has occurred in a way that was not predicted or anticipated. It is used to describe an event or situation that was thought to be unlikely or impossible, but which has happened anyway. The phrase can also be used to describe a person who has achieved something that was thought to be beyond their capabilities.


The phrase “against (all) expectations” has its origins in the English language. It is a combination of the words “against” and “expectations,” which have been in use for centuries. The phrase has been used in literature and spoken language for many years, and it has become a common expression in modern times.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase “against (all) expectations” means “in a way that was not predicted or anticipated.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “contrary to what was expected.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “not in the way that people thought would happen.”


The phrase “against (all) expectations” is often associated with surprise, shock, and disbelief. It is also associated with achievement and success, as it is often used to describe people who have accomplished something that was thought to be impossible.


Some synonyms for the phrase “against (all) expectations” include unexpectedly, surprisingly, shockingly, and astonishingly. Other synonyms include out of the blue, without warning, and unforeseen.


Antonyms for the phrase “against (all) expectations” include predictably, expectedly, and anticipated. These words describe events or situations that were expected or predicted to happen.

The same root words

The root words of the phrase “against (all) expectations” are “against” and “expectations.” The word “against” means “in opposition to” or “contrary to,” while “expectations” refers to what is anticipated or predicted. These words are often used together to describe an unexpected event or situation.

Example Sentences

  1. Against all expectations, the underdog team won the championship.
  2. The results of the election were against all expectations.
  3. She passed the exam, against all expectations.
  4. The company’s profits increased, against all expectations.
  5. Against all expectations, he managed to climb the mountain.

The phrase “against (all) expectations” is a powerful expression that describes an event or situation that was not predicted or anticipated. It is often used to describe surprising achievements or unexpected outcomes. The phrase has its roots in the English language and has been in use for many years. By understanding its definition, associations, synonyms, and antonyms, we can use the phrase effectively in our writing and speech.

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