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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for expatiating
Historical Examples
  • Jimmy had forgotten all about Yimville, now that he was expatiating on a pet hobby of his.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • She was never tired of expatiating on its lovable qualities.

  • "They were all so lovely I dared not choose," Mums was expatiating.

    Vision House C. N. Williamson
  • We shall never make him admire it by expatiating on its beauties.

    In the School-Room John S. Hart
  • Sir Richard was expatiating on Ashe's folly in marrying such a wife.

    The Marriage of William Ashe Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • I need not swell the catalogue of my errors by expatiating upon them.

    Arthur Mervyn Charles Brockden Brown
  • Her eloquence was never tired of expatiating on his purity and rectitude.

    Edgar Huntley Charles Brockden Brown
  • What, then, is the use of expatiating on the kind of punishments to be endured?

    The Cathedral Joris-Karl Huysmans
  • I explained as well as I could, expatiating on the charms of smoking.

    She and Allan H. Rider Haggard
  • "Kept me up one whole night, expatiating on her charms and his extreme unworthiness," he replied.

    Mavis of Green Hill Faith Baldwin
British Dictionary definitions for expatiating


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 expatiating



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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