[ek-spi-dish-uh n]
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  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.

Origin of expedition

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin expedītiōn- (stem of expedītiō) a (military) traveling. See expedite, -ion
Related formspre·ex·pe·di·tion, noun

Synonyms for expedition

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1. See trip1. 3. quickness, dispatch, alacrity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for expedition

Contemporary Examples of expedition

Historical Examples of expedition

  • The pails were provided, and Robert started on his expedition.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Lake Torrens was reached, and then the difficulties of the expedition began.

  • It was a very good season, but the expedition was too late in starting.

  • His expedition, which left Copenhagen in 1761, lasted six years.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • That clinging mist seemed of evil bodement for our expedition.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

British Dictionary definitions for expedition


  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

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

Word Origin and History for expedition

early 15c., "military campaign; the act of rapidly setting forth," from Middle French expédition (13c.) and directly from Latin expeditionem (nominative expeditio), noun of action from past participle stem of expedire (see expedite). Meaning "journey for some purpose" is from 1590s. Sense by 1690s also included the body of persons on such a journey. Related: Expeditionary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.