• IPA: /ɪkˈspiːdi.ənt/


  1. Suitable to effect#Verb|effect some desired#Adjective|desired end#Noun|end or the purpose#Noun|purpose intended.
    Most people, faced with a decision, will choose the most expedient option.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, John 16:7 ↗:
      Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter willnot come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
    • Nothing but the right can ever be expedient, since that can never be true expediency which would sacrifice a greater good to a less.
  2. Affording short-term benefit#Noun|benefit, often at the expense#Noun|expense of the long-term.
    • 1849, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter III, in The History of England from the Accession of James II, volume I, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗, page 389 ↗:
      [T]he judges were unanimously of opinion that [...] by the common law of England, no man, not authorised by the crown, had a right to publish political news. While the Whig party was still formidable, the government thought it expedient occasionally to connive at the violation of this rule.
  3. Governed by self-interest, often short-term self-interest.
  4. (obsolete) Expeditious, quick#Adjective|quick, rapid.
    • a 1623, Shakespeare, King John, Act II, scene i, lines 57–61:
      the adverse winds / Whose leisure I have stay'd, have given him time / To land his legions all as soon as I; / His marches are expedient to this town / His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
Synonyms Related terms

Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

expedient (plural expedients)

  1. A method or means for achieving a particular result, especially when direct or efficient; a resource.
    • 1906, O. Henry, The Green Door:
      He would never let her know that he was aware of the strange expedient to which she had been driven by her great distress.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, page 709:
      Depressingly, [...] the expedient of importing African slaves was in part meant to protect the native American population from exploitation.

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