ex·pend | \ik-ˈspend \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from expend

expender noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for expend


absorb, burn, consume, deplete, devour, drain, draw down, exhaust, play out, spend, use up


renew, replace

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

When the platforms were placed far apart, Kim jumped in a high arc — landing with less precision but expending less energy in the effort. Amanda Campanaro /, NBC News, "Why scientists trained this tiny spider to jump on command," 13 May 2018 The results of the REE would yield the number of calories an individual expended at rest - approximately 65% of the calories burned in a 24-hour period. NOLA.com, "Optimum Performance: What you eat before training and competition matters," 13 Apr. 2018 One of Porcari’s studies found that the average boot-camper expended about 10 calories per minute during the training—not quite as much as someone would burn running at a fast pace, but about as much as one would while cycling or swimming. Markham Heid, Time, "The Scientific Reason Boot Camp Workouts Are So Good For You," 2 Apr. 2018 While Kelly didn’t exactly use his three-tight end personnel package very much, the decision to expend a second-round selection on Ertz was a sound one. Jeff Mclane, Philly.com, "Eagles second-round draft pick Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz could be a mismatch nightmare," 28 Apr. 2018 Work on the Westside tunneling contract will not begin until federal transportation officials send a letter verifying that Metro will still be eligible for low-interest loans and federal grants if local funds are expended before a deal is signed. Laura J. Nelson, latimes.com, "Metro picks a contractor to dig the Wilshire subway tunnels through West L.A.," 29 June 2018 Because SpaceX has no plans to fly Friday's booster again, it will be expended into the ocean. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX has flown its last Block 4 version of the Falcon 9 rocket [Updated]," 28 June 2018 In my little town, more than half of the overall budget is expended on education. BostonGlobe.com, "Should Massachusetts eliminate tuition and mandatory fees for in-state students at its public colleges and universities?," 8 June 2018 There are two reasons why Facebook would expend so much time and energy catering to conservatives. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Why Facebook Is Desperate for Conservative Allies," 4 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about expend

Statistics for expend

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expend

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
expended; expending

Kids Definition of expend

1 : to pay out : spend

2 : to use up He expended a lot of energy.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on expend

What made you want to look up expend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!