verb (used without object), ex·pa·ti·at·ed, ex·pa·ti·at·ing.

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 formsex·pa·ti·a·tion, nounex·pa·ti·a·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expatiation

Historical Examples of expatiation

  • However Andy Hayes was not given to digression or to expatiation.

    Second String

    Anthony Hope

  • His field is illimitable; his expatiation in it is practically untrammelled.

    Matthew Arnold

    George Saintsbury

  • His brother-in-law paused in the middle of an expatiation on the business opportunities of the neighborhood.

    Martin Eden

    Jack London

  • Gower Woodseer's engagement with the girl Madge was a happier subject for expatiation and agreement.

  • For example, the card called Fortitude is an opportunity for expatiation on will as the secret of strength.

British Dictionary definitions for expatiation


verb (intr)

(foll by on or upon) to enlarge (on a theme, topic, etc) at length or in detail; elaborate (on)
rare to wander about
Derived Formsexpatiation, nounexpatiator, noun

Word Origin for expatiate

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

Word Origin and History for expatiation



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