Dictionary

1expedient

adjective ex·pe·di·ent \ik-ˈspē-dē-ənt\

: providing an easy and quick way to solve a problem or do something

Full Definition of EXPEDIENT

1
:  suitable for achieving a particular end in a given circumstance
2
:  characterized by concern with what is opportune; especially :  governed by self-interest
ex·pe·di·ent·ly adverb
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Examples of EXPEDIENT

  1. They found it expedient to negotiate with the terrorists.
  2. Do the right thing, not the expedient thing.
  3. Marley found it expedient to maintain social relationships with gunmen and politicans from both political parties. —Robert Palmer, Rolling Stone, 24 Feb. 1994

Origin of EXPEDIENT

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin expedient-, expendiens, present participle of expedire to extricate, prepare, be useful, from ex- + ped-, pes foot — more at foot
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of EXPEDIENT

expedient, politic, advisable mean dictated by practical or prudent motives. expedient usually implies what is immediately advantageous without regard for ethics or consistent principles <a politically expedient decision>. politic stresses judiciousness and tactical value but usually implies some lack of candor or sincerity <a politic show of interest>. advisable applies to what is practical, prudent, or advantageous but lacks the derogatory implication of expedient and politic <sometimes it's advisable to say nothing>.

Rhymes with EXPEDIENT

2expedient

noun ex·pe·di·ent \ik-ˈspē-dē-ənt\

: an easy and quick way to solve a problem or do something : an expedient solution

Full Definition of EXPEDIENT

:  something done or used to achieve a particular end usually quickly or temporarily :  an expedient action or solution

Examples of EXPEDIENT

  1. The government chose short-term expedients instead of a real economic policy.
  2. We can solve this problem by the simple expedient of taking out another loan.
  3. In 1882, racing to meet the deadline on Life on the Mississippi, he [Mark Twain] boasted to W.D. Howells that he had managed to churn out 9,500 words in a day, having resorted to the old hack's expedient of copying out large chunks from other people's books … —Jonathan Raban, Times Literary Supplement, 21–27 Sept. 1990

Origin of EXPEDIENT

(see 1expedient)
First Known Use: 1630

Synonym Discussion of EXPEDIENT

resource, resort, expedient, shift, makeshift, stopgap mean something one turns to in the absence of the usual means or source of supply. resource and resort apply to anything one falls back upon <exhausted all of their resources> <a last resort>. expedient may apply to any device or contrivance used when the usual one is not at hand or not possible <a flimsy expedient>. shift implies a tentative or temporary imperfect expedient <desperate shifts to stave off foreclosure>. makeshift implies an inferior expedient adopted because of urgent need or allowed through indifference <old equipment employed as a makeshift>. stopgap applies to something used temporarily as an emergency measure <a new law intended only as a stopgap>.

Rhymes with EXPEDIENT

EXPEDIENT Defined for Kids

expedient

adjective ex·pe·di·ent \ik-ˈspē-dē-ənt\

Definition of EXPEDIENT for Kids

:  providing a quick and easy way to accomplish something <an expedient solution>
ex·pe·di·ent·ly adverb

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