ex·​pe·​di·​en·​cy | \ ik-ˈspē-dē-ən(t)-sē How to pronounce expediency (audio) \
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 How to pronounce expediency (audio) \ adjective

Examples of expediency in a Sentence

the expediency of such a plan is questionable
Recent Examples on the Web Satire was always a point of the show, but the fact that the family was tied together by something more than expediency, something that might on a good day be called love, was key to its success. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2021 Some preferred expediency; their boundaries were enormous. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2021 Yet Grotian had been urging expediency for weeks, writing four times to the chancellery and asking it to take charge of an expedited process. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 But Lake, who basically latches onto any right-wing idea that will appeal to a conservative base and then promotes it on Twitter, is putting political expediency above the common good. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 15 Aug. 2021 Almost immediately, the genealogies of her White European, Native American and enslaved African characters begin to mingle in a collage of expediency, love and rape. Washington Post, 23 Aug. 2021 Despite its expediency, though, The White Lotus is also an extension of White’s personal and professional preoccupations going back years. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, 16 Aug. 2021 Thieves count on overwhelmed, distracted sellers and buyers to forgo security for expediency. Joanne Cleaver, chicagotribune.com, 13 Aug. 2021 The Juneteenth holiday was, too, in some ways, a product of political expediency. Keeanga-yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker, 6 Aug. 2021

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

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The first known use of expediency was in 1597

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expediency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expediency. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on expediency

Britannica English: Translation of expediency for Arabic Speakers


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