ex·​pound ik-ˈspau̇nd How to pronounce expound (audio)
expounded; expounding; expounds

transitive verb

: to set forth : state
: to defend with argument
: to explain by setting forth in careful and often elaborate detail
expound a law

intransitive verb

: to make a statement : comment
expounder noun
Choose the Right Synonym for expound

explain, expound, explicate, elucidate, interpret mean to make something clear or understandable.

explain implies a making plain or intelligible what is not immediately obvious or entirely known.

explain the rules

expound implies a careful often elaborate explanation.

expounding a scientific theory

explicate adds the idea of a developed or detailed analysis.

explicate a poem

elucidate stresses the throwing of light upon as by offering details or motives previously unclear or only implicit.

elucidate an obscure passage

interpret adds to explain the need for imagination or sympathy or special knowledge in dealing with something.

interpreting a work of art

Example Sentences

The article expounds the virtues of a healthy diet. When asked to expound, he had no comment.
Recent Examples on the Web There’s a lot to like about Mitt Romney, and no way to expound on why in the limited space remaining. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Dec. 2022 Simenon was unafraid to expound on his writing, but his self-accounting is, his biographers tell us, to be picked up with tongs. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 12 Sep. 2022 In a text to a Globe reporter on Monday, Flynn declined to expound upon his letter. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, 29 Aug. 2022 Kelly did not expound on Thompson-Robinson’s status for next week. Joe Reedy, al, 10 Sep. 2022 The original ad, which plays before every film at AMC, sees Kidman walk into a completely empty theater and expound on the Magic of the Movies in a hilariously over-the-top fashion. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 1 Sep. 2022 It will be augmented by an online website, The Mission Channel, that mirrors the magazine and expands the expressive arts experience with animation, video and audio, as authors read their words and expound on their works. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Aug. 2022 Here, the action and humor – of raising children, in this case – offer Hershovitz opportunities to expound upon an assortment of philosophical principles related to rights, punishment, knowledge, infinity, and more. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 May 2022 Part of that name-making involved inviting climbers and adventurers to the store to expound on their lives, work, and travels—a common practice now, but groundbreaking for a retail shop half a century ago. Micah Ling, Outside Online, 14 Feb. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French espundre, expondre, from Latin exponere to explain — more at expose

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of expound was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near expound

Cite this Entry

“Expound.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expound. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


ex·​pound ik-ˈspau̇nd How to pronounce expound (audio)
: to make known (as one's ideas or beliefs) : set forth
: to explain clearly : interpret
expounder noun

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