[ik-spahyuh r]

verb (used without object), ex·pired, ex·pir·ing.

to come to an end; terminate, as a contract, guarantee, or offer.
to emit the last breath; die.
to breathe out.
to die out, as a fire.

verb (used with object), ex·pired, ex·pir·ing.

to breathe out; emit (air) from the lungs.
Archaic. to give off, emit, or eject.

Origin of expire

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin ex(s)pīrāre to breathe out, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + spīrāre to breathe
Related formsex·pir·er, nounex·pir·ing·ly, adverbnon·ex·pir·ing, adjectiveun·ex·pired, adjectiveun·ex·pir·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expire

Contemporary Examples of expire

Historical Examples of expire

  • Or if some victim must expire, strike here, and I will thank thee.


    William Godwin

  • The corporal's leave did not expire till the evening of the following day.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • He was hunted like a wild beast, till ready to expire with fatigue.

  • Rosseter's lease of the building was to expire in the following year.

    Shakespearean Playhouses

    Joseph Quincy Adams

  • Mr. Adams's term of service in the Senate was to expire on March 3, 1809.

    John Quincy Adams

    John. T. Morse

British Dictionary definitions for expire



(intr) to finish or run out; cease; come to an end
to breathe out (air); exhale
(intr) to die
Derived Formsexpirer, noun

Word Origin for expire

C15: from Old French expirer, from Latin exspīrāre to breathe out, from spīrāre to breathe
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 expire

c.1400, "to die," from Middle French expirer (12c.) "expire, elapse," from Latin expirare/exspirare "breathe out, breathe one's last, die," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit). "Die" is the older sense in English; that of "breathe out" is first attested 1580s. Of laws, patents, treaties, etc., mid-15c. Related: Expired; expiring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

expire in Medicine




To breathe one's last breath; die.
To exhale.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.