ex·​pend | \ ik-ˈspend How to pronounce expend (audio) \
expended; expending; expends

Definition of expend

transitive verb

1 : to pay out : spend the social services upon which public revenue is expended— J. A. Hobson
2 : to make use of for a specific purpose : utilize projects on which they expended great energy also : use up

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Other Words from expend

expender noun

Examples of expend in a Sentence

Are we willing to expend the time and resources required to solve the problem? redecoration will have to wait, since we've just expended our last dollar in buying the house
Recent Examples on the Web Nor should a documentary be so profligate with the audience’s time and patience as to expend five or ten minutes on a series of mind-freezingly repetitive images such as those of people trudging along in a mourning parade or filing past the casket. Kyle Smith, National Review, 9 May 2021 The questions going forward with this style of defense are: Is this style, where players expend a lot of energy per defensive possession, sustainable over the course of a long season? Chris Hine, Star Tribune, 4 May 2021 There is the chance Gonzaga won’t be able to muster the energy and emotion needed against Baylor after having to expend so much of it to beat UCLA on Saturday night, needing a half-court shot from Jalen Suggs at the end of overtime to win it. USA TODAY, 5 Apr. 2021 The company has asserted its plans to expend an additional $350 million in 2021 to enhance overall wages; no word, however, on whether average hourly pay would also be raised. Joanna O'leary, Chron, 6 Mar. 2021 Of course what Bezos conveniently doesn’t mention is that, despite the great energy living things expend fighting this return to equilibrium, eventually all of them die. Marc Bain, Quartz, 15 Apr. 2021 Bitcoin miners expend power and energy to complete blocks and, therefore, can earn cryptocurrency in the process. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, 11 Apr. 2021 Playing college basketball games on back-to-back days, particularly between teams that had to work hard and expend energy to win the day before, can be an ugly affair. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Mar. 2021 Among Americans looking to expend pent-up wanderlust and perhaps brag a little, the paleontological pastime of fossil hunting has become an increasingly popular Jonesian pursuit. Jana Meisenholder, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expend.' 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 expend

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for expend

Middle English, from Latin expendere to weigh out, expend, from ex- + pendere to weigh — more at spin

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Time Traveler for expend

Time Traveler

The first known use of expend was in the 15th century

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Statistics for expend

Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expend. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for expend



English Language Learners Definition of expend

: to use or spend (something)
: to use (time, energy, effort, etc.) for a particular purpose


ex·​pend | \ ik-ˈspend How to pronounce expend (audio) \
expended; expending

Kids Definition of expend

1 : to pay out : spend
2 : to use up He expended a lot of energy.


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