1530s, "to demand, to claim," from Latin expostulatus, past participle of expostulare "to demand urgently, remonstrate, find fault, dispute, complain of, demand the reason (for someone's conduct)," from ex- "from" (see ex-) + postulare "to demand" (see postulate (v.)). Friendlier sense of "to reason earnestly (with someone) against a course of action, etc." is first recorded in English 1570s. Related: Expostulated; expostulating.
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