[ek-spuh-rey-shuh n]
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  1. a coming to an end; termination; close: the expiration of a contract.
  2. the act of expiring, or breathing out; emission of air from the lungs.
  3. Archaic. death.

Origin of expiration

1375–1425; late Middle English expiracioun < Latin expīrātiōn- (stem of expīrātiō), equivalent to expīrāt(us) (past participle of ex(s)pīrāre to expire) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsnon·ex·pi·ra·tion, nounpre·ex·pi·ra·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for expiration


  1. the finish of something; ending; expiry
  2. the act, process, or sound of breathing out
  3. rare a last breath; death
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 expiration

early 15c., "vapor, breath," from Middle French expiration, from Latin expirationem/exspirationem (nominative expiratio/exspiratio), noun of action from past participle stem of expirare/exspirare (see expire). Meaning "termination, end, close" is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

expiration in Medicine


  1. exhalation
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

expiration in Science


  1. See exhalation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.