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[ik-spey-shee-eyt] /ɪkˈspeɪ ʃiˌeɪt/
verb (used without object), expatiated, expatiating.
to enlarge in discourse or writing; be copious in description or discussion:
to expatiate upon a theme.
Archaic. to move or wander about intellectually, imaginatively, etc., without restraint.
Origin of expatiate
1530-40; < Latin expatiātus past participle of ex(s)patiārī to wander, digress, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + spatiārī to walk about, derivative of spatium space; see -ate1
Related forms
expatiation, noun
expatiator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for expatiating
Historical Examples
  • Henry will no doubt give you a lengthy description of the house, so I will refrain from expatiating on its merits.

    Canada for Gentlemen James Seton Cockburn
  • "They were all so lovely I dared not choose," Mums was expatiating.

    Vision House C. N. Williamson
  • The "Modern Gomorrah" he called it, and he was never tired of expatiating on its iniquity.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • We shall never make him admire it by expatiating on its beauties.

    In the School-Room John S. Hart
  • Its modern history is interwoven with the great mutiny, and our local guide wearied us by expatiating volubly upon the subject.

    Due West Maturin Murray Ballou
  • Sir Richard was expatiating on Ashe's folly in marrying such a wife.

    The Marriage of William Ashe Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Her eloquence was never tired of expatiating on his purity and rectitude.

    Edgar Huntley Charles Brockden Brown
  • I explained as well as I could, expatiating on the charms of smoking.

    She and Allan H. Rider Haggard
  • One was expatiating to me the other day on the admirable manners of the English.

  • "Kept me up one whole night, expatiating on her charms and his extreme unworthiness," he replied.

    Mavis of Green Hill Faith Baldwin
British Dictionary definitions for expatiating


verb (intransitive)
foll by on or upon. to enlarge (on a theme, topic, etc) at length or in detail; elaborate (on)
(rare) to wander about
Derived Forms
expatiation, noun
expatiator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exspatiārī to digress, from spatiārī to walk about
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
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Word Origin and History for expatiating



1530s, "walk about, roam freely," from Latin expatiatus/exspatiatus, past participle of expatiari/exspatiari "wander, digress," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + spatiari "to walk, spread out," from spatium (see space). Meaning "talk or write at length" is 1610s. Related: Expatiated; expatiating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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