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From the participle stem of Latin expatior, from ex- + spatior (walk about).


  • IPA(key): /ɛkˈspeɪʃɪeɪt/
  • (file)


expatiate (third-person singular simple present expatiates, present participle expatiating, simple past and past participle expatiated)

  1. (now rare) To range at large, or without restraint.
    • 1717, Alexander Pope, “Windsor-Forest”, in The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope, volume I, London: Printed by W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintot, [], 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.
  2. To write or speak at length; to be copious in argument or discussion.
    Synonyms: descant, dilate, enlarge, expound
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 35
      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.
    • March 5, 1715, Joseph Addison, The Freeloader No. 22
      He expatiated on the inconveniences of trade.
    • 1992 May 3, "Comrade Bingo" Jeeves and Wooster, Series 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.
    • 2007, Clive James, Cultural Amnesia (Picador 2007, p. 847)
      “It can't fly,” he expatiated. “It can move forward only by hopping.”
  3. (obsolete) To expand; to spread; to extend; to diffuse; to broaden.


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