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The expiration date is the day on which an options contract expires and becomes worthless. Listed options always expire on the Saturday following the third Friday of their expiration month.
For example, if you hold an American-style September equity option, you can exercise it any time before the end of trading on the third Friday in September, or whatever cutoff time your brokerage firm sets. In contrast, European-style options can be exercised only at expiration, usually on Friday.
Under specific circumstances, listed options will be exercised automatically at expiration unless the owner gives instructions not to exercise them.
Unlike the standard term of a listed option, the expiration date of an over-the-counter option is negotiated at the time of the trade.