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[ik-spey-shee-eyt] /ɪkˈspeɪ ʃiˌeɪt/
verb (used without object), expatiated, expatiating.
to enlarge in discourse or writing; be copious in description or discussion:
to expatiate upon a theme.
Archaic. to move or wander about intellectually, imaginatively, etc., without restraint.
Origin of expatiate
1530-40; < Latin expatiātus past participle of ex(s)patiārī to wander, digress, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + spatiārī to walk about, derivative of spatium space; see -ate1
Related forms
expatiation, noun
expatiator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for expatiate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But why expatiate to a stranger on sorrow which must be secret?

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • It is needless to expatiate on its poetic merit or felicity of diction.

    My Reminiscences Rabindranath Tagore
  • But I and my chimney must explain; and as we are both rather obese, we may have to expatiate.

    I and My Chimney Herman Melville
  • It is useless to expatiate on a code of morals that seems to us positively Japanese.

    Raleigh Edmund Gosse
  • It cannot be necessary to expatiate at all upon the nature of the offence.

  • This, however, is a subject on which it is not our intention to expatiate here.

    The Emigrants Of Ahadarra William Carleton
  • He then proceeded to expatiate on every sort of rustic enormity of which he accused Benjie.

    Red Gauntlet Sir Walter Scott
  • What necessity was there to expatiate on her brother's drunkenness?

  • We cannot expatiate upon the scene; we can only muse and worship.

    Life and Times of David Charles Henry Mackintosh
British Dictionary definitions for expatiate


verb (intransitive)
foll by on or upon. to enlarge (on a theme, topic, etc) at length or in detail; elaborate (on)
(rare) to wander about
Derived Forms
expatiation, noun
expatiator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exspatiārī to digress, from spatiārī to walk about
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for expatiate

1530s, "walk about, roam freely," from Latin expatiatus/exspatiatus, past participle of expatiari/exspatiari "wander, digress," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + spatiari "to walk, spread out," from spatium (see space). Meaning "talk or write at length" is 1610s. Related: Expatiated; expatiating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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