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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 expiring
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When his options were within two hours of expiring he called on Ford & Carter.

    Cappy Ricks Retires Peter B. Kyne
  • She was expiring, and yet I was debarred the small comfort of weeping by her.

    The Vicar of Wakefield Oliver Goldsmith
  • After a time I went down to where he lay, and found him expiring.

    The Little Savage Captain Frederick Marryat
  • Saying which, he flung the expiring ashes of the floweret from his hand.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
  • All, however, was darkness, save the expiring embers in the grate.

  • "But he will come," she thought swiftly, to cover the pang of that expiring hope.

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • Silver and gold, and precious stones flash back the expiring light of the flickering lamps.

British Dictionary definitions for expiring


(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 expiring



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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expiring 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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