noun ex·pe·di·tion \ ˌek-spə-ˈdi-shən \
|Updated on: 8 Jul 2018

Definition of expedition

1 a : a journey or excursion undertaken for a specific purpose
b : the group of persons making such a journey
2 : efficient promptness : speed
3 : a sending or setting forth


play \ˌek-spə-ˈdi-sh(ə-)nər\ noun

Examples of expedition in a Sentence

  1. a scientific expedition to Antarctica

  2. an avid mountain climber, always on an expedition to some far-off corner of the world

Recent Examples of expedition from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expedition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of expedition

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Synonym Discussion of expedition

haste, hurry, speed, expedition, dispatch mean quickness in movement or action. haste applies to personal action and implies urgency and precipitancy and often rashness.
    • marry in haste
hurry often has a strong suggestion of agitated bustle or confusion.
    • in the hurry of departure she forgot her toothbrush
speed suggests swift efficiency in movement or action.
    • exercises to increase your reading speed
expedition and dispatch both imply speed and efficiency in handling affairs but expedition stresses ease or efficiency of performance and dispatch stresses promptness in concluding matters.
    • the case came to trial with expedition
    • paid bills with dispatch

EXPEDITION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of expedition for English Language Learners

  • : a journey especially by a group of people for a specific purpose (such as to explore a distant place or to do research)

  • : a group of people who travel together to a distant place : a group of people who go on an expedition

EXPEDITION Defined for Kids


noun ex·pe·di·tion \ ˌek-spə-ˈdi-shən \

Definition of expedition for Students

1 : a journey for a particular purpose
  • a scientific expedition
2 : a group of people traveling for exploration or adventure

Word Root of expedition

The Latin word pes, meaning “foot,” and its form pedis give us the root ped. A pedestrian is a person who travels on foot. Before trains, planes, and cars, an expedition, or journey, was often carried out by foot. An impediment makes movement or progress difficult, as if getting in the way of the feet.

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