ex·​pe·​di·​en·​cy ik-ˈspē-dē-ən(t)-sē How to pronounce expediency (audio)
plural expediencies
: the quality or state of being suited to the end in view : suitability, fitness
: an enterprise requiring haste or caution
: adherence to expedient means and methods
put more emphasis on expediency than on principle W. H. Jones
: a means of achieving a particular end : expedient
expediential adjective

Example Sentences

the expediency of such a plan is questionable
Recent Examples on the Web Skeptics have noted in these pages that these Democrats flipped on school choice for political expediency. Corey Deangelis, WSJ, 10 Nov. 2022 That saying encapsulates Democrats’ entire strategy in Republican primary campaigns, one that trades principle and devotion to American democracy for political expediency. Charles Hilu, National Review, 3 Aug. 2022 During this election cycle, Republicans and their backers have tended to emphasize political expediency above all. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2022 Biden will lose his moral authority by putting oil and expediency over principles and values. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 15 July 2022 Without more confidentiality and expediency in mental health care, the Casertas and military mental health experts like Rudd say the military won't see much of a change. Melissa Chan, NBC News, 29 June 2022 But that simple expediency scratches all her old anxieties. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 7 June 2022 But political expediency—and the need to ensure steady supplies of gas—trumped geopolitics and protecting Ukraine’s sovereignty. Chris Stokel-walker, Wired, 25 Feb. 2022 The Unofficials tell a different story: One of political expediency that set in motion the foreseeable—and foreseen—unraveling of one of the world’s greatest cities. —Ms. Lim covered Hong Kong for more than a decade for the BBC and NPR. Louisa Lim, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of expediency was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near expediency

Cite this Entry

“Expediency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expediency. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



ex·​pe·​di·​en·​cy ik-ˈspēd-ē-ən-sē How to pronounce expediency (audio)
plural expediencies
: the use of expedient means and methods

More from Merriam-Webster on expediency

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