The Meaning of Expound: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of expound? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word expound, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word expound mean?

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, William Collins Sons from HarperCollins Publishers  and Collins English Dictionary state that the word expound is a verb that means to explain, elaborate, or set forth an argument or theory in detail. If you expound, you give an elaborate explanation in elaborate detail. The word expound is two syllables – ex-pound, and the pronunciation of expound is ɪkˈspaʊnd.

There are many languages that also contain words that mean expound. You may notice that some of these translations of expound from Word Sense look and sound similar to the word expound. These are called cognates. Cognates are often formed when two words in different languages have the same root or language of origin. You could also find them in a Spanish Dictionary unabridged 8th edition, German Dictionary unabridged 2nd edition,  Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary 12th edition, or French Electronic Resource unabridged 7th edition.

  •  Mandarin: 闡述‎, 阐述‎ (chǎnshù), 闡明‎, 阐明‎ (chǎnmíng)
  •  Scots: expoond‎
  •  Japanese: 詳説‎
  •  Spanish: exponer‎
  •  Ido: explikar‎
  •  Persian: تفصیل دادن‎ (tafsil dâdan)
  •  Russian: разъясня́ть‎ (impf), разъясни́ть‎ (pf), растолко́вывать‎ (impf), растолкова́ть‎ (pf), излага́ть‎ (impf), изложи́ть‎ (pf) роз’яснювати
  •  Finnish: selittää‎
  •  Bulgarian: обяснявам‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: objasniti‎, izložiti‎, rastumačiti‎

Can you figure out what languages the following words are in? expune разъяснять vysvetliť razlagati razložiti förklara tyda อธิบายอย่างละเอียด ayrıntılarıyla açıklamak darlegen išaiškinti izklāstīt 설명하다 išdėstyti greie ut om túlka esporre 説明する izskaidrot menerangkan uiteenzetten legge излагам explicar vyložit erläutern redegøre pomno objasniti kifejt menjelaskan αναπτύσσω διεξοδικά exponer lahti seletama skÿra fortolke ، 

What are synonyms and antonyms of expound?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word expound. These are considered synonyms, which are words that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself or if you are looking to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word expound is provided by Power Thesaurus as well as Roget’s Thesaurus Fifth Edition from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company or Collins Thesaurus of the English Language. 

  •  develop
  •  sermonize
  •  talk
  •  relate
  •  enlarge
  •  dilated
  •  orate
  •  interpret
  •  hold forth
  •  dilating
  •  detail
  •  detailed
  •  account for
  •  put in plain english
  •  decipher
  •  preach
  •  solve
  •  go into detail
  •  detailing
  •  moralize
  •  chime in
  •  be prolix
  •  explain
  •  assert
  •  express
  •  annotate
  •  spout
  •  pontificate
  •  lecture
  •  demonstrate
  •  gloss
  •  construe
  •  disclose
  •  speak
  •  illuminate
  •  affirm
  •  enucleate
  •  give an explanation of
  •  translate
  •  put into words
  •  make clear
  •  expand
  •  state
  •  set out
  •  enlarging
  •  explicate
  •  throw light on
  •  sound off
  •  propound
  •  communicate
  •  make known
  •  spell out
  •  exposit
  •  go into detail about
  •  declare
  •  make explicit
  •  expatiate
  •  perorate
  •  draw a map
  •  elucidate
  •  reveal
  •  illustrate
  •  get across
  •  shed light on
  •  lucubrate
  •  be profuse
  •  harangue
  •  delineate
  •  commentate
  •  fill someone in
  •  clear up
  •  elaborated
  •  make plain
  •  specify
  •  simplify
  •  define
  •  unfold
  •  amplify
  •  exemplify
  •  describe
  •  proclaim
  •  put forward
  •  setting forth
  •  dilate
  •  comment
  •  set forth
  •  decode
  •  flesh out
  •  show
  •  give the big picture
  •  clarify
  •  teach
  •  explaining
  •  unravel
  •  present
  •  untangle
  •  discourse
  •  declaim
  •  elaborate
  •  spiel

There are also many different words that have the opposite meaning as the word expound. These opposite words are considered antonyms. Antonyms are also very useful to know if you want to expand your vocabulary and knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms for the word expound is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  confuse
  •  be distant
  •  allude
  •  bite one’s tongue
  •  camouflage
  •  be unenthusiastic about
  •  be unconcerned about
  •  be impassive
  •  be all ears
  •  blot out
  •  blank out
  •  abbreviate
  •  be hushed
  •  benight
  •  be mute
  •  be unresponsive to
  •  block
  •  be voiceless
  •  bite your tongue
  •  be apathetic about
  •  be phlegmatic about
  •  obscure
  •  muddle
  •  be indifferent
  •  bedim
  •  be dispassionate
  •  be uninvolved in
  •  bury
  •  be quiet
  •  be oblivious to
  •  cast a shadow over
  •  block out
  •  be uncaring about
  •  be careless of
  •  be silent
  •  bottle up
  •  adumbrate
  •  be mindless of
  •  be passionless
  •  be speechless
  •  call
  •  be detached
  •  be nonchalant about
  •  be heedless of
  •  be apathetic towards
  •  be uninvolved with
  •  be aloof
  •  attend
  •  be casual about
  •  be attentive

What is the origin of expound?

According to Etymonline, the word expound has been used since c13-14th century Middle English expounen, Middle English expoun, Middle English expoune and Middle English expounden. This comes from the Old French espondre, Anglo-Norman espoundre, Anglo-French espundre and Latin exponere/Latin expōnere, from the Latin ex and Latin ponere/pōnere, from Indo-European roots. One can add the suffixed ed and ing to make different word forms such as the past participle, present tense, present participle and more such as expounded and expounding. Take a look at the usual Middle English form: ‘In Englissh,’ quod Pacience, ‘it is wel hard, wel to expounen, ac somdeel I shal seyen it, by so thow understonde.’ Related words include expose, exponen, exponent, and more.

How can the word expound be used in a sentence?

There are many different ways that a person can use the word expound (vb.) in a sentence. Using words in a sentence is a great way to add them to your vocabulary. You can also try making flashcards or a quiz to test your knowledge on different English language words’ definitions. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are a couple of different examples of the word expound being used in a sentence to help get you started. 

The nun expounded upon her favorite topic in the text of scripture in a detailed statement in her dissertation to find the origin of the conflict between the soothsayer and the disciples of Philip of Macedon. She always kept a copy in her pocket.

He expounded upon his motives to gain sympathy from the jury.

Schmidt, the lecturer at Princeton University, expounds upon his special knowledge of the scientific theory on the throwing of light with a detailed analysis, but the obscurity of the topic middles the main ideas and general premise for others. 

The doctor today by necessity expound upon the particular cases of pott’s disease and pott’s fracture to explain the healing process. 

Helen Sasson was a champion for me and made remarks that expounded upon her advocate status during criticism of my paper on economics.

They expound upon the government’s new policies for anti-slavery petitions and economic affairs over the course of her talk and essays.

Overall, the word expound means to expand or elaborate. This late 14c word has also been used by confidential leaders like Jefferson.


  1. expound: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. Expound synonyms – 1 073 Words and Phrases for Expound | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Expound antonyms – 253 Opposites of Expound | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Expound definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  5. expound | Origin and meaning of expound | Online Etymology Dictionary