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

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 What better way to expend our leadership chops and precious life? Ginny Whitelaw, Forbes, 1 June 2022 But absent the intelligence from the United States, Ukraine would have struggled to target the warship with the confidence necessary to expend two valuable Neptune missiles, which were in short supply, according to people familiar with the strike. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, 11 May 2022 Surely, there were bigger concerns to expend such energy on. Michael Smolenscolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 Unfortunately, not every small business can expend the resources, time and money just to sell to federal agencies. Daniel Levy, Forbes, 6 July 2022 Work-life balance has shifted to allow more room to expend time doing things that are not part of the job. Chandra Gundlapalli, Forbes, 25 Mar. 2022 According to the bill’s text, the Contractors State License Board is authorized to expend up to $1 million for the fund and consumers can receive as much as $40,000 in compensation. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2021 For instance, if the city approved an ordinance that allowed sales of pets raised by what a retailer claims are ethical breeders, the city would have to be willing to expend a significant effort to verify that claim. Jim Riccioli, Journal Sentinel, 17 June 2022 Software companies typically expend significant sales and marketing dollars to chase high growth rates. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, 23 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near expend

expeller man



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Statistics for expend

Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Expend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expend. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for expend


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on expend

Nglish: Translation of expend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expend for Arabic Speakers


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