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[ik-spos-chuh-leyt] /ɪkˈspɒs tʃəˌleɪt/
verb (used without object), expostulated, expostulating.
to reason earnestly with someone against something that person intends to do or has done; remonstrate:
His father expostulated with him about the evils of gambling.
Origin of expostulate
1525-35; < Latin expostulātus demanded urgently, required (past participle of expostulāre). See ex-1, postulate
Related forms
expostulatingly, adverb
expostulator, noun
unexpostulating, adjective
dispute, argue, protest; exhort, counsel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for expostulate
Historical Examples
  • They will expostulate, they will remonstrate, but they will not go to war with their own Colonies.

    Freedom's Battle Mahatma Gandhi
  • But the friend turned to William Darling, and began to expostulate with him.

    Grace Darling Eva Hope
  • It was now his turn to expostulate; but how could he “hope for mercy, rendering none?”

    Olla Podrida Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
  • The man continued to address, to expostulate, to pray, to soothe.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • “Were I your inferior in birth and education I should have a perfect right to expostulate,” said Owen.

    Owen Hartley; or, Ups and Downs William H. G. Kingston
  • So the lady chose to think it her duty to expostulate with Hugh on the subject.

    David Elginbrod George MacDonald
  • Some endeavoured to hustle him, and others began to expostulate.

    Caleb Williams William Godwin
  • Alonzo looked anxious, but there was no time to expostulate.

  • Therefore, as it is mine and the common cause of mankind, I presume to expostulate with you on this occasion.

    The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899 George A. Aitken
  • All he would do was to get into his carriage and set off to expostulate with the King.

    The Magnificent Montez Horace Wyndham
British Dictionary definitions for expostulate


(intransitive) usually foll by with. to argue or reason (with), esp in order to dissuade from an action or intention
Derived Forms
expostulatingly, adverb
expostulation, noun
expostulator, noun
expostulatory, expostulative, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin expostulāre to require, from postulāre to demand; see postulate
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 expostulate

1530s, "to demand, to claim," from Latin expostulatus, past participle of expostulare "to demand urgently, remonstrate," from ex- "from" (see ex-) + postulare "to demand" (see postulate). Friendlier sense is first recorded in English 1570s. Related: Expostulated; expostulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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