ex·​pire | \ ik-ˈspī(-ə)r How to pronounce expire (audio) , usually for senses vi 3 and vt 2 ek-\
expired; expiring

Definition of expire

intransitive verb

1 : to breathe one's last breath : die
2 : to come to an end: such as
a : to exceed its period of validity The contract will expire next month.
b : to pass its expiration date (see expiration date sense 2) This milk has expired. " … when drugs expire, you can't just leave these things lying around."— Ed Haislmaier
3 : to emit the breath

transitive verb

1 obsolete : conclude
2 : to breathe out from or as if from the lungs
3 archaic : emit

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Examples of expire in a Sentence

My driver's license has expired. She expired after a long illness. measuring the volume of air expired from the lungs
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Recent Examples on the Web

The report, an Aviation Week & Space Technology exclusive, states that the U.S. government plans to begin fabricating parts for new ground launched cruise missiles after the INF Treaty officially expires in August. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Pentagon Prepares to Build Banned Missiles as Treaty Expires," 11 Mar. 2019 All of this has caused a rift that has stoked fears of a potential work stoppage when the collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 campaign. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Baseball’s All-Unemployed Team," 11 Feb. 2019 Well, the fridges unlocked Thursday night when the game clock expired and the fans were clearly excited. Fox News Staff, Fox News, "Early voting begins, final phase of midterms is here," 21 Sep. 2018 Works published between 1947 and 1956 would get a total of 110 years of protection, while works published between 1957 and 1972 would expire in 2067—the same as under current law. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Senate passes copyright bill to end 140-year protection for old songs," 19 Sep. 2018 Rookies are usually signed right around the draft, while established players’ deals usually expire in October. Bryan Kalbrosky, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker could be an NBA free agent soon ... in shoes," 10 July 2018 Sanders declined to say what the administration planned to do when that 20-day period expired. Jazmine Ulloa, latimes.com, "Border Patrol stops handing over most immigrant parents for prosecution, but won't say when families will be reunified," 26 June 2018 They would not be allowed to be accompanied by family members — a measure that would encourage them to leave Japan when their visas expire and not become part of Japanese society. Washington Post, "Japan OKs economic plan that allows more foreign workers," 15 June 2018 When time expired and the helmets and sticks were tossed into the air, the Washington Capitals poured onto the ice and a celebration decades in the making ensued. Rick Maese, chicagotribune.com, "Capitals, and Washington, celebrate a victory decades in the making," 7 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of expire

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for expire

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Anglo-French espirer to breathe out, from Latin exspirare, from ex- + spirare to breathe

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Statistics for expire

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expire

The first known use of expire was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for expire



English Language Learners Definition of expire

: to end : to no longer be valid after a period of time
formal : to die
medical : to breathe out (air)


ex·​pire | \ ik-ˈspīr How to pronounce expire (audio) \
expired; expiring

Kids Definition of expire

1 : to come to an end Your membership expired.
3 : to breathe out : exhale


ex·​pire | \ ik-ˈspī(ə)r, usually for vi 2 and vt ek-\
expired; expiring

Medical Definition of expire

intransitive verb

1 : to breathe one's last breath : die
2 : to emit the breath

transitive verb

: to breathe out from or as if from the lungs the basal metabolism test…measures the amount of carbon dioxide expired by the lungs— J. D. Ratcliff

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More from Merriam-Webster on expire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expire

Spanish Central: Translation of expire

Nglish: Translation of expire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expire for Arabic Speakers

Comments on expire

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


a strong desire or propensity

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