ex·​pend·​able | \ ik-ˈspen-də-bəl How to pronounce expendable (audio) \

Definition of expendable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: that may be expended: such as
a : normally used up or consumed in service expendable supplies like pencils and paper
b : more easily or economically replaced than rescued, salvaged, or protected



Definition of expendable (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is expendable usually used in plural

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Other Words from expendable


expendability \ ik-​ˌspen-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce expendability (audio) \ noun

Examples of expendable in a Sentence


employees whose jobs are considered expendable

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Alabama product became expendable in New Orleans due to the emergence of Alvin Kamara, which caused Ingram’s playing time to dwindle. Tyler Dragon, Cincinnati.com, "NFL Preseason All-AFC North Team: Joe Mixon could very well be the best RB in the division," 10 July 2019 The notion that horses become expendable as their expenses exceed their income is an idea whose time may have elapsed. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Reform or extinction? Many see horse slaughter as existential threat to racing," 15 June 2019 However, the big rocket NASA has been developing since 2011, the Space Launch System, is entirely expendable. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "How can NASA return to the Moon? By making everything reusable, chief says," 2 Aug. 2018 So, between Bazemore’s shooting and defense and Simons’ ball-handling and scoring potential, Olshey decided Turner was expendable. Joe Freeman, oregonlive.com, "Portland Trail Blazers trade for Kent Bazemore, adding shooting and carving out larger role for Anfernee Simons," 24 June 2019 Drones are cheap, expendable and can be deployed with no risk of loss of personnel. The Economist, "Submarine-launched drone platoons will soon be emerging from the sea," 22 June 2019 Other actors have passed through similar portals, seemingly expendable one minute and exalted the next. Time, "Why It Took Keanu Reeves 30 Years to Become an Overnight Sensation," 21 June 2019 Jackson and Warren are expendable as players and have some value. Kent Somers, azcentral, "If the Phoenix Suns aren't trying to trade Josh Jackson and TJ Warren, they should be," 18 June 2019 Braun, 32, figured to be expendable considering the cap crunch San Jose faces. Ross Mckeon, SFChronicle.com, "Sharks send Braun to Flyers for draft picks and salary relief," 18 June 2019

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


1805, in the meaning defined above


1942, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near expendable


expeller man






Statistics for expendable

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expendable

The first known use of expendable was in 1805

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More Definitions for expendable



English Language Learners Definition of expendable

: easily replaced : not worth saving : not meant to be saved : meant to be used and thrown away

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More from Merriam-Webster on expendable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expendable

Spanish Central: Translation of expendable

Nglish: Translation of expendable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expendable for Arabic Speakers

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