[ik-spahyuh r]
See more synonyms for expire on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), ex·pired, ex·pir·ing.
  1. to come to an end; terminate, as a contract, guarantee, or offer.
  2. to emit the last breath; die.
  3. to breathe out.
  4. to die out, as a fire.
verb (used with object), ex·pired, ex·pir·ing.
  1. to breathe out; emit (air) from the lungs.
  2. 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. 2018

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


  1. (intr) to finish or run out; cease; come to an end
  2. to breathe out (air); exhale
  3. (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


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