ex·​pe·​di·​tion·​ary ˌek-spə-ˈdi-shə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce expeditionary (audio)
: of, relating to, or being an expedition
also : sent on military service abroad
an expeditionary force

Examples of expeditionary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The infusion is essential to the Marines’ ability to serve as an expeditionary force that primarily travels by sea, with sizable help from its air assets. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Feb. 2024 The SEALs were operating from the USS Lewis B Puller, an expeditionary sea base and converted freighter topped with landing decks for helicopters and capable of releasing small watercraft. Luis Martinez, ABC News, 21 Jan. 2024 Commanders are pushing more soldiers through its jungles as the 25th Infantry Division expands instruction at its expeditionary school and leads a new Pacific training rotation that brought together 5,300 troops in November for simulated battles with other services and nations. Damien Cave Mark Abramson, New York Times, 15 Dec. 2023 Our government bureaucracy was not designed for this mission, but expeditionary leaders have found creative ways to meet the moment. Shawn Vandiver, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Aug. 2023 The trouble was that EU member states had shrinking expeditionary capacity and more urgent commitments during NATO’s long mission in Afghanistan. Radek Sikorski, Foreign Affairs, 20 June 2023 In 1802, about a decade after the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution, Napoleon sent an expeditionary force of some 30,000 troops to its former colony Saint-Domingue, hoping to retake the land and reimpose slavery. Colin Dickey, The New Republic, 3 May 2023 The United States established an expeditionary mission in Djibouti in 2002, transforming a French Foreign Legion base to a U.S. military installation. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 11 Sep. 2021 The heavy cruiser's wreck was rediscovered on Aug. 18, 2017, by an expeditionary ship belonging to Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen. Jeremy Hsu, Discover Magazine, 21 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'expeditionary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1817, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of expeditionary was in 1817

Dictionary Entries Near expeditionary

Cite this Entry

“Expeditionary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expeditionary. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ex·​pe·​di·​tion·​ary ek-spə-ˈdish-ə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce expeditionary (audio)
: sent on military service abroad
an expeditionary force
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