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ex·​pend·​able ik-ˈspen-də-bəl How to pronounce expendable (audio)
: that may be expended: such as
: normally used up or consumed in service
expendable supplies like pencils and paper
: more easily or economically replaced than rescued, salvaged, or protected
expendability noun


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: one that is expendable
usually used in plural

Examples of expendable in a Sentence

Adjective employees whose jobs are considered expendable
Recent Examples on the Web
These Welch acolytes treated experienced engineers and machinists as expendable, ignoring the potential damage to Boeing’s essential mission of designing and building high-quality airplanes. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 10 Apr. 2024 The fully expendable megarocket is already an anachronism. George Dvorsky / Gizmodo, Quartz, 7 Mar. 2024 Yet here’s an annual reminder as media coverage for expendable players goes wall-to-wall as free agency begins — let the buyer beware. Jerry McDonald, The Mercury News, 11 Mar. 2024 The two-stage launcher will have a payload capacity of 20 metric tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO) when expendable. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 1 Dec. 2023 In pursuit of that dream, everything is viewed as expendable. Chris Roemer, Baltimore Sun, 13 Jan. 2024 Activist groups saw the move as a way to sell off public housing to rapacious developers, who would treat residents as expendable. Curbed, 9 Jan. 2024 Now, however, Robinson might be expendable for a team that has younger alternatives in Walker Little and Anton Harrison. Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 These technicians had been on the initial list of possibly expendable employees. Jennifer J Fondrevay, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024
In the novel, Mickey 7 is a space colonist known as an expendable. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Mar. 2024 The addition includes around 32,000 square feet of production offices; a 4,310-square-foot wardrobe department, complete with laundry; a nearly 8,000-square-foot expendables department; 18,000 square feet of storage; and a roughly 3,200-square-foot visitor space with a studio merchandise shop. J. Clara Chan, Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan. 2024 The book, published in early 2022, centers on a man known as an expendable on a mission to colonize a distant planet. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Jan. 2024 The flow doesn’t stop and that is key because there are so many expendables. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Apr. 2023 Ultimately, the Browns drafted Bell at No. 99, which made the five-time Pro Bowler expendable. cleveland, 13 May 2022 The National School Lunch Act of 1946 made school cafeterias widespread, ostensibly rendering the homemade lunch expendable. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Mar. 2023 That made Trevino expendable and he was sent to New York, where he was expected to work primarily as a backup. Dallas News, 30 June 2022 The book, published earlier this year, centers on a man known as an expendable on a mission to colonize a distant planet. Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'expendable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1805, in the meaning defined above


1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of expendable was in 1805

Dictionary Entries Near expendable

Cite this Entry

“Expendable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expendable. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: normally used up in service
expendable supplies like pencils and paper
expendable noun

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