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The spelling and usage of the verbs “to expedite” and “to expediate” are similar. But why are there two words for the same thing?

Expedite versus expediate
“(To) expedite” and “(to) expediate” share a fascinating story of origin.
Correct Use

  • Expedite and expediate are synonyms.
  • Expediate came to be because of an error when copying a dictionary.
  • Both versions of the word are acceptable, but expedite is more widely used.

Are “Expedite” and “Expediate” Synonyms?

You can find several examples of synonyms or pseudo-synonyms in the English language. This means that you can choose between two (or even more) different words with highly similar or even identical meanings. However, there aren’t that many instances of doublets that are nearly written the same, too.

The two verbs to expedite and to expediate are one of these rare cases. But do you know about the interesting and unexpected connection between the two spelling realizations?

“Expedite” means make (an action or process) happen sooner or be accomplished more quickly. For example: He asked to expedite the delivery, so it can arrive on time.

The Origins of “Expedite” and “Expediate”

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Around 1600, the Latin word “expedire” entered the English vocabulary, like many other words at that time. Due to an error, this word was spelled wrong when someone copied a dictionary by hand. As a result, expediate has remained in various dictionaries ever since. Nowadays, it is a synonym of expedite.

The government wants to expediate certain energy and climate programs.

Nevertheless, to expedite is still the preferred variant across many dialects. To expediate is becoming more accepted, but it’s still considered to be a “false” or “non-standard” form of the existing to expedite.

How Can I Avoid This Kind of Typos?

Please Note

To expediate and to expedite are synonyms.

To expedite is still the better option in writing due to its widespread acceptance.

This rare case proves that sometimes dictionaries shape language use, and not vice versa. If you don’t want a misspelled word to enter the dictionary you are currently writing, then using a writing assistant like LanguageTool is a recommendable asset. It will always show you the correct spelling and grammar usage for all of your texts. You’ll see that it will not only expedite your writing process, it’ll expediate your growth as a writer as well.

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