[ ek-spi-dish-uhn ]
/ ˌɛk spɪˈdɪʃ ən /
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an excursion, journey, or voyage made for some specific purpose, as of war or exploration.
the group of persons, ships, etc., engaged in such an activity: a large expedition of scientists and military personnel.
promptness or speed in accomplishing something: He worked with great expedition.
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Origin of expedition

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

synonym study for expedition

1. See trip1.


pre·ex·pe·di·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


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

How to use expedition in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for expedition

/ (ˌɛkspɪˈdɪʃən) /

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

Word Origin for expedition

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with expedition


see fishing expedition.

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