ex·​pe·​di·​en·​cy | \ ik-ˈspē-dē-ən(t)-sē \
plural expediencies

Definition of expediency

1 : the quality or state of being suited to the end in view : suitability, fitness

2 obsolete

b : an enterprise requiring haste or caution
3 : adherence to expedient means and methods put more emphasis on expediency than on principle— W. H. Jones
4 : a means of achieving a particular end : expedient

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Other Words from expediency

expediential \ ik-​ˌspē-​dē-​ˈen-​chəl \ adjective

Examples of expediency in a Sentence

the expediency of such a plan is questionable

Recent Examples on the Web

This rocket mandate has been a political expediency, as flying on the SLS rocket enabled the costly Clipper mission to win support from Culberson's counterpart in the Senate, Alabama's Richard Shelby. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "A congressman’s loss clouds the future of two demanding missions to Europa," 3 Dec. 2018 This is a matter of survival rather than political expediency. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "John Boehner is exactly right about the Republican Party," 1 June 2018 All of this is nothing more than political expediency and not an application of our Constitution. WSJ, "Spare Us From the Internet Sales Tax Tsunami," 2 July 2018 But his refusal to accept the boat did more than pit humanitarian necessity against political expediency. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "Scorned Migrant Boat Exposes Raw Feelings Among European Allies," 13 June 2018 The mayor’s interest in political expediency, Vallas alleged, kept him from adding more police officers sooner and from getting pension relief from Springfield faster. Bill Ruthhart, chicagotribune.com, "Vallas: Chicago ‘in big trouble’ under Emanuel’s ‘politically expedient’ City Hall approach," 1 May 2018 But the play does last — somewhat past the point, actually, where its explorations of government power and the friction between free expression and political expediency still fascinate. James Hebert, sandiegouniontribune.com, "'King Charles III' fascinates (and frustrates) at Coronado Playhouse," 26 Mar. 2018 O'Malley said that judges who failed to meet their quotas can appeal to supervisors if their numbers fall short of the Justice Department's expediency goals. Washington Post, latimes.com, "Trump administration, seeking to speed deportations, plans to impose quotas on immigration judges," 3 Apr. 2018 O'Malley said that judges who fail to meet their quotas can appeal to supervisors if their numbers fall short of the Justice Department's expediency goals. Nick Miroff, chicagotribune.com, "Trump administration seeks to impose quotas on immigration judges, speed up deportations," 2 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expediency.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of expediency

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for expediency

The first known use of expediency was in 1597

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expediency

Britannica English: Translation of expediency for Arabic Speakers

Comments on expediency

What made you want to look up expediency? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


esteemed in general opinion

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