Grammar Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Can you tell me a sentence using the expression "expired in indigent circumstances"?

Expert Answers info

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write5,917 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

The phrase "expired in indigent circumstances" is a euphemism for the much harsher phrase "died impoverished." A euphemism is, as defined by Random House Dictionary, "the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be ... harsh, or blunt."

Random House defines indigent as meaning that someone is impoverished and lacking basic necessities, like food and clothing. It's root is the Latin stem word indigent-, which is a verb meaning to lack, to need, or to be poor. The verb expire has one definition meaning "to emit the last breath" as expiration is a technical term in the discussion of respiration. Therefore, if someone is said to have expired, it means they have died.

A possible sentence using the euphemistic expression "expire in indigent circumstances" might be, "The aged man found under the freeway bridge had expired in indigent circumstances." Another might be, "Oscar Wilde, spurned by society after his trial, sadly expired in indigent circumstances in the Hotel d’Alsace in Paris." 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial