Definition of expatiate in US English:



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  • Speak or write at length or in detail.

    ‘she expatiated on working-class novelists’
    • ‘The author has a book out about ‘The Dark Side of Democracy’ in which he expatiates on precisely these themes.’
    • ‘He also expatiates on ‘mind’ and its relation to French words such as esprit, intellect, entendement, raison, avis, even sentiment and âme.’
    • ‘He tried to ridicule his adversary by broadly expatiating upon his clothing and appearance which, it seems, did not meet with the standard set by London outfitters.’
    • ‘Let me start by expatiating on the torture that was our football game.’
    • ‘Tom is a professional hockey player and ballet lover, pursuits on whose alleged similarities he vacuously expatiates.’
    • ‘He has just been expatiating on the difference between Renaissance and Romantic angst.’
    • ‘Two other leaders expatiated on the importance of these customary rites and the fact that the deceased was the last of his kind - the great warrior-killer.’
    • ‘I now expect to be booked on cable TV to expatiate on my brilliant findings without interruption.’
    • ‘The editor-in-chief was even inspired to expatiate at length on how it just goes to show how predictably liberal the competition is these days.’
    • ‘He goes on to expatiate on Queen Victoria's instructions to the governor-general and suggests that they are somehow relevant to the present debate.’
    • ‘The commentator adopts this persona to expatiate on a variety of topics.’
    • ‘I took my seat on the floor in front of the table where he was expatiating on the tendency of contemporary poems to be self-conscious about being poems.’
    • ‘In a famous passage in chapter 42 David expatiates on the leading principles of his working life.’
    • ‘It is much more explicitly present in a variety of passages such as the one in which Richard expatiates about the death of kings in characteristically allegorical terms.’
    • ‘Anyone who constantly kvetches about the evils of the right-wing in a completely unrelated tangent while expatiating about a French philosopher must be reconsidered.’
    • ‘This was almost achieved when the two actors expatiated on the subjects of life, love and potato chips.’
    • ‘Every week my jaw dropped lower as she expatiated on the mystic ramifications of this.’
    • ‘Lee also expatiates at length on his class's visits to Roman sites.’
    • ‘The tramway passed alongside vineyards, an itinerary inciting Simon to expatiate on harvesting grapes.’
    • ‘Similarly, when neoconservative ideologues speak of needing to rebuild an embattled US hegemony and legitimacy, they aren't impotently expatiating.’
    hold forth about, speak at length about, write at length about, pontificate about, discourse on, expound, go into detail about, go on about, dwell on
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘roam freely’): from Latin exspatiari ‘move beyond one's usual bounds’, from ex- ‘out, from’ + spatiari ‘to walk’ (from spatium ‘space’).