Expiry vs Expiration

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What’s the difference between them?



The termination or end of a period of time, usually the end of a validity period for something like a contract, document, or license.


1. Please ensure that you check the expiry of your passport before travelling.

2. All food products must be checked for their expiry date before consumption.

3. The expiry date of the contract is fast approaching.



American English spelling of expiry.


1. The expiration date of the milk is printed on the container.

2. The coupon will become invalid after the expiration date.

3. The expiration of his driver's license is in three months.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference




1. Termination

2. Expiration

3. Cessation

4. Lapse

5. End of validity period







1. Termination

2. Expiry

3. End

4. Cessation

5. Closing date

1. Continuance

2. Renewal

3. Prolongation

4. Perpetuity

5. Eternal Life

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Expiry", "Expiration".

1. Remember that 'expiration' is the American English spelling of 'expiry'.

2. Use 'expiry' when writing in British English and 'expiration' when writing in American English.

3. Pay attention to the context of the document to determine which spelling to use.

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Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

Expiry is typically used to refer to the end of a period of time, such as the end of a contract, document, or license. This could include the expiration date of a product, a job contract, or a credit card.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

Expiration is the American English spelling of expiry, so it can be used interchangeably. It is most appropriate to use expiration in a more formal context, such as a legal document or contract.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, expiry is pronounced /ɪkˈspaɪr.i/, while expiration is pronounced /ˌek.spəˈreɪ.ʃən/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake is confusing the two words, or using the wrong spelling in a formal context. It is also important to remember that expiry is the preferred spelling in British English, while expiration is the preferred spelling in American English. Another mistake is confusing the words with the word 'expire,' which means to come to an end.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1.Please check the _____ date on your milk carton before drinking.

2. Your credit card is approaching its _____; you should request a new one.

3. In the US, they often refer to the end date of a product as its _____ date.

4. In the UK, its common to ask about the _____ date of a document.

5. The contracts _____ is in two weeks, so we need to decide whether to renew.

6. She found an old can of beans in the pantry and was unsure if it was past its _____.

1. Expiry/Expiration

Explanation: Both expiry and expiration can be used to refer to the end date of a product. Without a specific clue pointing to either British or American English, both options are correct.

2. Expiry/Expiration

Explanation: Again, both words can refer to the end of a validity period, such as that of a credit card. In the absence of a distinguishing clue, either word can be used.

3. Expiration

Explanation: The clue In the US points to the American English term, making expiration the correct choice.

4. Expiry

Explanation: The phrase In the UK is a clue pointing towards British English. Thus, expiry is the appropriate term to use here.

5. Expiry/Expiration

Explanation: In this sentence, we are referring to the end date of a contract. Both expiry and expiration can be used, and without a region-specific clue, both options are valid.

6. Expiry/Expiration

Explanation: As in the first two examples, both terms can be used to refer to the end date of a product. Without any specific clue, both expiry and expiration are acceptable answers.

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