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First attested circa 16th century, from Latin expostulatus, past participle of expostulo ("to demand" or "to 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.
    • Jowett
      Men expostulate with erring friends; they bring accusations against enemies who have done them a wrong.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
      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, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. XI, The Abbot’s Ways
      [] 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.”






  1. second-person plural present active imperative of expostulō