Expiration Date

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DEFINITION of 'Expiration Date'

The last day that an options or futures contract is valid. When an investor buys an option, the contract gives them the right but not the obligation to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price, called a strike price, within a given time period, which is on or before the expiration date. If the investor chooses not to exercise that right, the option expires and becomes worthless and the investor loses the money paid to buy the option.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Expiration Date'

The expiration date for all listed stock options in the United States is normally the third Friday of the contract month, which is the month when the contract expires. However, when that Friday falls on a holiday, the expiration date is on the Thursday immediately before the third Friday. Once an options or futures contract passes its expiration date, the contract is invalid.

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