early 15c., "military campaign; the act of rapidly setting forth," from Old French expedicion "an expediting, implementation; expedition, mission" (13c.) and directly from Latin expeditionem (nominative expeditio) "an enterprise against an enemy, a military campaign," noun of action from past participle stem of expedire "make ready, prepare" (see expedite). Meaning "journey for some purpose" is from 1590s. Sense by 1690s also included the body of persons on such a journey.
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