View synonyms for expedition


[ ek-spi-dish-uhn ]


  1. an excursion, journey, or voyage made for some specific purpose, as of war or exploration.
  2. the group of persons, ships, etc., engaged in such an activity:

    a large expedition of scientists and military personnel.

  3. promptness or speed in accomplishing something:

    He worked with great expedition.

    Synonyms: quickness, alacrity, dispatch


/ ˌɛkspɪˈdɪʃən /


  1. an organized journey or voyage for a specific purpose, esp for exploration or for a scientific or military purpose
  2. the people and equipment comprising an expedition
  3. a pleasure trip; excursion
  4. promptness in acting; dispatch

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Other Words From

  • preex·pe·dition noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of expedition1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin expedītiōn- (stem of expedītiō ) “a (military) traveling.” See expedite, -ion

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Word History and Origins

Origin of expedition1

C15: from Latin expedītiō, from expedīre to prepare, expedite

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Idioms and Phrases

see fishing expedition .

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Synonym Study

See trip 1.

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Example Sentences

If you want to climb it, you usually start your expedition from Montemonaco.

From Fortune

To learn about the microbes living in sub-seafloor sediments, scientists must typically go on drilling expeditions to retrieve samples of them.

OceanSky Cruises—based, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Sweden—is currently taking reservations for expeditions to the North Pole in the 2023-2024 season.

Suffice it to say, the expedition, bolstered by complex preparation, was massive with over 35,000 soldiers from different nationalities.

These expeditions are commonly known as the Peasants’ Crusades.

Two years into an Arctic expedition, they were forced to abandon ship a thousand miles north of Siberia.

At Studio Stagetti, I shot a man with more picks and axes than I have ever seen outside an arctic expedition.

Going to the library was like a treasure hunt, an expedition.

He sees all the more reason to continue with plans for their next expedition, in June 2015.

Companies across the country donated supplies and equipment to assist him with his expedition.

After the battle of the Pyramids he fell sick, and before the Syrian expedition, applied to return to France.

Lawrence and Dan were told of the danger that threatened Fulton, and they determined to accompany Guitar in his expedition.

The wealth, which Ripperda deemed necessary for his expedition, was sewed into various parts of their muleteer garments.

The filibustering expedition set out in three small ships on the 28th of September.

But scarcely had the new ambassador arrived at his destination when he heard of Bonaparte's projected expedition to Egypt.


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More About Expedition

What is an expedition?

An expedition is an organized journey or voyage made with a specific purpose, as in Johann packed only a large backpack for the expedition across the Alps.


An expedition can describe any trip made with a specific purpose or for the purpose of simple exploration. The term is used formally by militaries, cartographers, groups that aim to protect wildlife, and many others. For example, a military expedition is a specific type of military operation in which a group of soldiers move into a foreign country to accomplish a task.


Expedition can also be used to refer to a pleasure trip, especially for a trip to a location that is farther than a person would normally go.


Expedition can also refer to the group of people who go on the trip. For example, a scientific expedition to the rainforest can mean the trip to the rainforest or those who go on the trip.


Example: We took an expedition around the world to see all the sights.

Where does expedition come from?

The first records of the term expedition come from the 1400s. It ultimately comes from the Latin expedītiō, meaning “a military traveling.” Despite sharing a root word, an expedition does not have to be expedited, or sped up.

In popular culture, and often on television, the word expedition is used in reference to content dealing with locations viewers might never go to, such as African deserts or Antarctic tundras. Examples of this are the network television shows “Expedition Unknown,” “Expedition Bigfoot,” “The Ultimate Expedition,” “Expedition Mars,”  and “Expedition to the Edge.” All deal with taking a narrator and a camera crew, or in some cases a camera rover, to lands far from the viewers.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to expedition?

What are some synonyms for expedition?

What are some words that share a root or word element with expedition

What are some words that often get used in discussing expedition?

How is expedition used in real life?

Expedition is normally used to talk about a trip, especially one that was full of adventure.


Try using expedition!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for expedition?

A. tour
B. travel
C. halt
D. outing

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.