expediency

noun
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 expediential (audio) \ adjective

Examples of expediency in a Sentence

the expediency of such a plan is questionable

Recent Examples on the Web

Leaders of the movement for Pakistan also appreciated the expediency of a British presence in the state. Raghvendra Singh, Quartz India, "What Britain gained by partitioning the subcontinent into India and Pakistan," 9 Aug. 2019 True to Washington’s fears, Americans have allowed government officials, under assertions of expediency and party unity, to ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism and the rule of law. Justin Amash, Twin Cities, "Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving my party," 10 July 2019 True to Washington’s fears, Americans have allowed government officials, under assertions of expediency and party unity, to ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism and the rule of law. Justin Amash, The Denver Post, "Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving the GOP," 5 July 2019 People should thank them for their unanimous vote in defense of SCC’s sanctuary policy, for exercising that leadership, and for resisting the seductive political expediency of pandering to fear and hate. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Santa Clara County supervisors hailed for defending sanctuary policy," 8 June 2019 That expediency is leading Johnson into the arms of the White House. Luke Reader, The Conversation, "Is Boris Johnson, Britain’s new prime minister, anti-immigrant, a homophobe, a bigot – or just politically expedient?," 24 July 2019 But like Men in Black: International, this Shaft mistakes frequent, abrupt plot turns for expediency, giving its characters little chance to feel like anything but plug-and-play figures. Jesse Hassenger, The Verge, "Men in Black: International and Shaft show the limits of modern film franchises," 21 June 2019 But reaction to the clip was mixed: Was Swift’s sudden intense embrace a matter of principle, or of expediency? Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "For Taylor Swift, Is Ego Stronger Than Pride?," 18 June 2019 The campaign’s initial answers left some feeling uneasy, as if Biden were moving for political expediency. Philip Elliott, Time, "Joe Biden Keeps Stumbling. The Democratic Pile-On Is Just Getting Started.," 21 June 2019

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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Statistics for expediency

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for expediency

The first known use of expediency was in 1597

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More from Merriam-Webster on expediency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expediency

Britannica English: Translation of expediency for Arabic Speakers

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a haphazard or makeshift solution

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