Definition of expostulate in English:


Pronunciation /ikˈspäsCHəˌlāt/ /ɪkˈspɑstʃəˌleɪt/

See synonyms for expostulate

Translate expostulate into Spanish

intransitive verb

[no object]
  • Express strong disapproval or disagreement.

    ‘I expostulated with him in vain’
    • ‘If you read down the Hansard report, you'll see he then loses control altogether, peevishly expostulating, ‘We do not need moral lectures from the Conservative party.’’
    • ‘I'm glad to see plenty of letters expostulating about the preposterous piece in the newspaper.’
    • ‘‘Now this is really blackmail,’ the villain expostulates.’
    • ‘When one school official underlined Ms. Calkins's point that teachers didn't need to assign book reports, the woman next to me expostulated, ‘That I don't agree with.’’
    • ‘‘If anyone had made a remark like that five years ago I'd have thought he was crazy…’ he expostulated.’
    • ‘It's easy for historians to expostulate about societal trends and reactions or to theorize about the lasting impact of this or that event on the evolution of some socio-economic group.’
    • ‘Oh, and before people e-mail me about this, let me say: Of course I expostulate on the blog about subjects on which I'm not an expert.’
    • ‘An official could expostulate with the emperor over his decisions and policies, but never rebel.’
    • ‘Before he has any chance to expostulate, he is mortally wounded by the tenor and dies.’
    • ‘Her works do not expostulate on art issues or complain about a difficult early life.’
    • ‘Page, have an official statement issued expostulating against the insurgents.’
    • ‘In the Preface to St Leon, Godwin expostulates upon his turn from a politics based on public discussion to one based on private affections.’
    • ‘He expostulates, but Ginger stands firm, and, because her stylishness is all-powerful, he has to give in.’
    • ‘For most of his two-hour Harbourfront concert, the singer sang, chanted and expostulated about African self-worth, AIDS and government corruption.’
    • ‘Later, amidst thousands of adversaries, he expostulated by initiating and appealing for re-adopting conventional ethical and religious norms people had deviated from.’
    • ‘‘Oh, come on,’ Petra expostulated, rolling her eyes.’
    • ‘Sir Sefton Brancker, an aviator responsible for the expansion of the Royal Flying Corps at the outbreak of war, expostulated in 1916.’
    • ‘At one point, he expostulated on another aspect of the centrist outlook: the glorification of backwardness.’
    • ‘I groggily expostulated into the mouthpiece, while using my free hand to rub the bruise I could feel forming on my face.’
    • ‘I offhandedly expostulated whilst continuing to read her two page monologue.’
    remonstrate, disagree, argue, take issue, reason, express disagreement
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘demand how or why, state a complaint’): from Latin expostulat- ‘demanded’, from the verb expostulare, from ex- ‘out’ + postulare ‘demand’.