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

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

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


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


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


(see 1expedient)
First Known Use: 1630

Related to EXPEDIENT

Rhymes with EXPEDIENT


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