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[ik-spahyuh r] /ɪkˈspaɪər/
verb (used without object), expired, expiring.
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), expired, expiring.
to breathe out; emit (air) from the lungs.
Archaic. to give off, emit, or eject.
Origin of expire
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin ex(s)pīrāre to breathe out, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + spīrāre to breathe
Related forms
expirer, noun
expiringly, adverb
nonexpiring, adjective
unexpired, adjective
unexpiring, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for expire
  • When drugs do finally expire, some gradually get weaker and eventually become inert.
  • As a good first step to regaining some measure of economic stability, they should be allowed to expire.
  • They can be fired tomorrow or whenever their contracts expire.
  • As the globe warms, many temperature-sensitive species have to adapt or expire.
  • To adjust emissions caps in the future, the allowances would expire periodically, perhaps as often as once a year.
  • It used to be that the package where you sent me your magazines had, printed on it, the date when my subscription would expire.
  • And since it apparently is set to expire end of year with no legislative action, this is a mute point now anyway.
  • No one knows what will happen when those leases expire.
  • But training does not always yield a job, and even extended unemployment benefits expire eventually.
  • Former soldiers are gradually being removed from provincial governorships, too, as their five-year terms expire.
British Dictionary definitions for expire


(intransitive) to finish or run out; cease; come to an end
to breathe out (air); exhale
(intransitive) to die
Derived Forms
expirer, noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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expire in Medicine

expire ex·pire (ĭk-spīr')
v. ex·pired, ex·pir·ing, ex·pires

  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.
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