expatiate

play
verb ex·pa·ti·ate \ek-ˈspā-shē-ˌāt\

Definition of expatiate

expatiated

;

-ating

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to move about freely or at will :  wander

  3. 2 :  to speak or write at length or in detail expatiating upon the value of the fabric — Thomas Hardy

expatiation

play \(ˌ)ek-ˌspā-shē-ˈā-shən\ noun

expatiate was our Word of the Day on 01/19/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of expatiate in a Sentence

  1. the naturalist is known for her willingness to expatiate on any number of issues relating to wildlife and the environment

Did You Know?

The Latin antecedent of "expatiate" is "exspatiari," which combines the prefix ex- ("out of") with "spatiari" ("to take a walk"), itself from "spatium" ("space" or "course"). Exspatiari means "to wander from a course" and, in the figurative sense, "to digress." But when English speakers began using "expatiate" in 1538, we took "wander" as simply "to move about freely." In a similar digression from the original Latin, we began using "expatiate" in a figurative sense of "to speak at length." That's the sense of the word most often used these days, usually in combination with "on" or "upon."

Origin and Etymology of expatiate

Latin exspatiatus, past participle of exspatiari to wander, digress, from ex- + spatium space, course


First Known Use: circa 1552


EXPATIATE Defined for English Language Learners

expatiate

play
verb ex·pa·ti·ate \ek-ˈspā-shē-ˌāt\

Definition of expatiate for English Language Learners

  • : to speak or write about something in a way that includes a lot of details or uses many words



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up expatiate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a small amount

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!