Espouse vs expound

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Espouse and expound are two words that sound and look similar, but have two very different meanings. We’ll examine the meaning of espouse and expound, their origins, and how they are used in sentences.

Espouse means to give support to an idea or a belief, to adopt an idea or a belief. Espouse may also mean to marry or take a spouse, though that definition is rarely used anymore. Espouse is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are espouses, espoused, espousing. The word espouse is derived from the Latin word sponsare, which means to perform a rite or make a secret promise.

Expound means to put forth an argument, to explain an idea or theory in detail. Expound is also a transitive verb, related words are expounds, expounded, expounding, expounder. The word expound is derived from from Latin word exponere which means to put forth, to expose, to disembark, to reveal. Remember, espouse means to support a belief, expound means to explain a belief. Often someone who supports a belief also explains that belief, and that is where the confusion arises.


Congress may espouse job reservation for Jat community during the campaign “yatra” in western UP, aligning the party with the agitation that has revived in the region in recent weeks. (The Times of India)

I think if we actively espouse an ethos of communalism that it would help. (The Huffington Post)

One of the things that sets apart National Geographic’s photography—which Kobersteen will expound on in Thursday’s lecture—is the amount of resources that the magazine’s staff spends developing each photo story. (The Idaho Mountain Express)

I called Schickel to ask him to expound on why no one has taken those 10 minutes to grab Trump’s returns and peddle them to, say, TMZ or a Hillary Clinton-friendly Super PAC for a hefty sum. (The Chicago Tribune)