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From Latin expostulatus, past participle of expostulo (demand, claim) from ex- +‎ postulo (demand).



expostulate (third-person singular simple present expostulates, present participle expostulating, simple past and past participle expostulated)

  1. (intransitive) To protest or remonstrate; to reason earnestly with a person on some impropriety of conduct. [from 16th c.]
    • 1719 May 6 (Gregorian calendar), [Daniel Defoe], The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, [], 3rd edition, London: [] W[illiam] Taylor [], published 1719, →OCLC:
      The tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these reflections; and sometimes I would expostulate with myself why Providence should thus completely ruin His creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable; so without help, abandoned, so entirely depressed, that it could hardly be rational to be thankful for such a life.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “XI, "The Abbot’s Ways"”, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, →OCLC, book II (The Ancient Monk):
      [] he affectionately loved many persons to whom he never or hardly ever shewed a countenance of love. Once on my venturing to expostulate with him on the subject, he reminded me of Solomon: “Many sons I have; it is not fit that I should smile on them.”
    • 1881, Benjamin Jowett, Thucydides:
      Men expostulate with erring friends; they bring accusations against enemies who have done them a wrong.






  1. second-person plural present active imperative of expostulō