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- To write or speak at length; to be copious in argument or discussion.
- 1716 March 16, Joseph Addison, “The Free-holder: No. 22. Monday, March 5. [1716.] [Julian calendar]”, in The Works of the Right Honourable Joseph Addison, Esq; […], volume IV, London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], published 1721, OCLC 1056445272, page 438:
- [H]e expatiated on the inconveniences of trade, that carried from us the commodities of our country, and made a parcel of upſtarts as rich as men of the moſt ancient families of England.
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, “The Mast-head”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, page 203:
- Now, as the business of standing mast-heads, ashore or afloat, is a very ancient and interesting one, let us in some measure expatiate here.
- 1992 May 3, Clive Exton, “Comrade Bingo”, in Jeeves and Wooster, season 3, episode 6:
- Wooster: If you ask me, art is responsible for most of the trouble in the world. / Jeeves: An interesting theory, sir. Would you care to expatiate upon it? / Wooster: As a matter of fact, no, Jeeves. The thought just occurred to me, as thoughts do. / Jeeves: Very good, sir.
- (rare) To range at large, or without restraint.
- 1713, Alexander Pope, “Windsor-Forest. […]”, in The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope, volume I, London: […] W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintot, […], published 1717, OCLC 43265629, page 62:
- [L]ooks on heav'n with more than mortal eyes, / Bids his free ſoul expatiate in the skies, / Amidſt her kindred ſtars familiar roam, / Survey the region, and confeſs her home! Such was the life great Scipio once admir'd, / Thus Atticus, and Trumball thus retir'd.
- (obsolete) To expand; to spread; to extend; to diffuse; to broaden.
to write or speak at length; to be copious in argument or discussion, to descant
obsolete: to expand; to spread; to extend; to diffuse; to broaden
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