Definition of expedition in English:


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  • 1A journey or voyage undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose, especially that of exploration, scientific research, or war.

    ‘an expedition to the jungles of the Orinoco’
    • ‘It was no different from the several trekking expeditions I had undertaken in the hills.’
    • ‘The letter sent to the school by Scott detailed the expedition and what the explorer hoped to achieve on his voyage.’
    • ‘The expedition's purpose is to carry out an archaeological survey of the wreck and take video footage.’
    • ‘But he is no stranger to exploration himself having completed expeditions to both the Artic and Antartic.’
    • ‘There's a fair amount of information about the local wildlife, as well as the history of the various early exploratory expeditions.’
    • ‘In the past two years there have been six or seven research expeditions to the region.’
    • ‘After researching the whereabouts of the lost city for over a decade, he undertook an expedition to find Atlantis.’
    • ‘Cameron's documentary shows him embarking on his own expedition to explore the wreck of the Bismarck.’
    • ‘How did she gather the courage to undertake such an adventurous expedition?’
    • ‘Only a person with determination and the courage can even think of undertaking such an expedition.’
    • ‘Cook's third voyage was to the northern Pacific, so completing the greatest series of scientific expeditions ever undertaken.’
    • ‘During the final Romanov decades scientific and exploratory expeditions were mounted more and more frequently.’
    • ‘Henry VIII himself was kept informed of the hunting expeditions undertaken by his children.’
    • ‘The tented camp is used to support a variety of research expeditions in the Arctic region.’
    • ‘The National Geographic Society is helping fund the research portion of the expedition.’
    • ‘The main aim of the expedition is to continue exploration of the cave Asopladeru le Texa.’
    • ‘In the summer he accompanied groups of young people on expeditions among the hills, woods and lakes.’
    • ‘Hundreds of companies offer places on expeditions to climb the highest peaks in the world.’
    • ‘He occupied himself by writing a novel concerning an expedition to Mars, grounded on accurate engineering estimates.’
    • ‘They are now organising an expedition to the site for April next year, when spring weather will give them the first chance to test their theory.’
    journey, voyage, tour, odyssey
    trip, excursion, outing, journey, jaunt, run
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    1. 1.1The people involved in an expedition.
      ‘many of the expedition have passed rigorous courses’
      • ‘This expedition spent 13 months exploring the surrounding reefs of Low Isles.’
      • ‘This was a pity, not least because the main part of the expedition had already started exploring new caves in that area!’
      • ‘As I said, the group is a scouting expedition exploring what may be possible.’
      • ‘Among them will be Smith who, at just 24, was the youngest member of the expedition.’
      • ‘Then last year came his trip to Makalu: this time a much smaller expedition, just six Europeans and some Sherpas bearers.’
      • ‘Herrmann's expedition will set off from Hamburg early next year.’
      group, team, party, company, crew, band, troop, squad, crowd
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    2. 1.2 informal A short trip made for a particular purpose.
      • ‘a shopping expedition’
      trip, excursion, outing, journey, jaunt, run
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  • 2 formal Promptness or speed in doing something.

    ‘the landlord shall remedy the defects with all possible expedition’
    • ‘Look out for satellites with all possible expedition.’
    • ‘You heard what I said in relation to the possible expedition of the hearing of the application for special leave.’
    • ‘I intend to conduct the inquiry with expedition and to report as soon as possible.’
    • ‘I think if you wanted a stay, it would be quite normal for an undertaking to prosecute proceedings with urgency or expedition.’
    speed, haste, hastiness, hurriedness, promptness, speediness, swiftness, quickness, rapidity, briskness, promptitude, velocity
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/ˌekspəˈdiSHən/ /ˌɛkspəˈdɪʃən/


Late Middle English via Old French from Latin expeditio(n-), from expedire ‘extricate’ (see expedite). Early senses included ‘prompt supply of something’ and ‘setting out with aggressive intent’. The notions of ‘speed’ and ‘purpose’ are retained in current senses. expedition (sense 1) dates from the late 16th century.