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

Adjective employees whose jobs are considered expendable
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In Buffalo, Jones was expendable on a team carrying seven receivers following Williams’ promotion. San Diego Union-Tribune, "AP Source: Bills trade receiver Zay Jones to Raiders," 7 Oct. 2019 The world’s best simply can’t play every week, and every tournament not listed above is basically expendable. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Eight Burning Questions as the 2020 PGA Tour Season Tees Off," 10 Sep. 2019 And the Dolphins ultimately determined Drake — who scored one of the most memorable touchdowns in franchise history — was expendable after four seasons. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Something went wrong with Kenyan Drake and Dolphins, but neither is looking back," 5 Nov. 2019 The Giants gave up two expendable players –Derek Law and Alen Hanson– and a pitching prospect, Juan De Paula, to acquire a veteran outfielder who would join the major league roster immediately. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants’ upcoming trade decisions made complicated by team’s recent success," 7 July 2019 And no other team in the league had fewer productive position players to make someone like Villar expendable. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Analysis: Parting with Jonathan Villar is a statement of intent for Orioles. It’s time everyone listens.," 2 Dec. 2019 So in the middle of last season, Carlisle switched Doncic to the point, making former lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr. expendable. BostonGlobe.com, "Cuban believes load management is a good way for teams to preserve their stars for the playoffs. He suggested that in the 1980s and ’90s the quality of basketball was hindered by fatigue, with the league’s top players near exhaustion when the postseason arrived.," 16 Nov. 2019 Camp confidential: This time there is no competition for the opening role in the middle, only a mandate to continue the growth that led management to make Hassan Whiteside expendable. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Heat preseason primer: Roster in five words per player, plus camp schedule, key dates ahead," 29 Sep. 2019 Josh Dobbs, Pittsburgh Steelers Mason Rudolph appears to have passed Dobbs on the Steelers’ depth chart, perhaps making him expendable. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Looking at backup quarterbacks Colts could acquire in coming days," 30 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for expendable

Time Traveler

The first known use of expendable was in 1805

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Statistics for expendable

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expendable.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expendable. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for expendable


How to pronounce expendable (audio)

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

Comments on expendable

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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