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 drone, which is made from plywood and aluminum, is designed to be cheap and expendable. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Marines’ Plywood Supply Drone Is Undergoing Flight Tests," 20 Mar. 2019 The only expendable necessity would be the honeybees. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Beekeeping for Beginners: Everything to Know About Starting Your Own Colony," 5 Apr. 2019 Gay people and intravenous drug users — those most at risk at the time — had been deemed expendable. New York Times, "How the Early ’80s Changed Gay Writing Forever," 16 Apr. 2018 In this case, the InSight lander, and in an absolute worst-case scenario, the two twin satellites are expendable. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Small CubeSat Became the Unlikely Hero of the InSight Landing," 29 Nov. 2018 Now, the company is focusing on building out its educational ecosystem with a particular interest in getting more products into schools, another built-in market with an expendable budget. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Sphero discontinues its BB-8, R2-D2, and other licensed Disney products," 17 Dec. 2018 That means that there are more potential starters available on the waiver wire every week, the cost of which is the most expendable player on your roster. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Tips to Help You Ace Any Fantasy Football Draft," 4 July 2018 Shortstop Addison Russell represents the Cubs’ most expendable position player who’s young and accomplished enough to interest the Orioles as the centerpiece. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Manny Machado deal would be costly for Cubs — but worth the price for a superstar," 12 May 2018 How cruel that the most enjoyable spending is also the most expendable. David Carrig, USA TODAY, "How to save money on entertainment and still have fun," 2 Jan. 2018

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

16 Jun 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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