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See more synonyms for expostulate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), ex·pos·tu·lat·ed, ex·pos·tu·lat·ing.
  1. to reason earnestly with someone against something that person intends to do or has done; remonstrate: His father expostulated with him about the evils of gambling.
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Origin of expostulate

1525–35; < Latin expostulātus demanded urgently, required (past participle of expostulāre). See ex-1, postulate
Related formsex·pos·tu·lat·ing·ly, adverbex·pos·tu·la·tor, nounun·ex·pos·tu·lat·ing, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for expostulate

Historical Examples

  • The man continued to address, to expostulate, to pray, to soothe.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Babalatchi was angry and tried to expostulate, but he gave him a good shaking.

  • The priest tries to expostulate with the half-drunken fellow.

  • So the lady chose to think it her duty to expostulate with Hugh on the subject.

    David Elginbrod

    George MacDonald

  • Alonzo looked anxious, but there was no time to expostulate.

British Dictionary definitions for expostulate


  1. (intr usually foll by with) to argue or reason (with), esp in order to dissuade from an action or intention
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Derived Formsexpostulatingly, adverbexpostulation, nounexpostulator, nounexpostulatory or expostulative, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Latin expostulāre to require, from postulāre to demand; see postulate
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 expostulate


1530s, "to demand, to claim," from Latin expostulatus, past participle of expostulare "to demand urgently, remonstrate," from ex- "from" (see ex-) + postulare "to demand" (see postulate). Friendlier sense is first recorded in English 1570s. Related: Expostulated; expostulating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper