ex·​pend·​able | \ik-ˈspen-də-bəl \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from expendable


expendability \ik-​ˌspen-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun

Examples of expendable in a Sentence


employees whose jobs are considered expendable

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There’s a couple factors at play: one, economic growth across Asia, which means people have more expendable income to spend on travel. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "By 2030, This Will Be The Most Visited Country in the World," 8 Nov. 2018 The rise of Yannick Ngakoue made Fowler expendable in Jacksonville. Mark Long, The Seattle Times, "Jaguars trade pass-rusher Fowler to Rams for 2 draft picks," 31 Oct. 2018 As a result, the expendable descent stage, which would arrive with each new Orion crew (as well as propellant for the ascent engine), could have a minimum size, while the space tug could be used for multiple ferry trips. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "NASA’s Return to the Moon Could Include a Reusable Lunar Lander," 23 Oct. 2018 But many of us still are burdened by FOMO—the fear of missing out, or in this case the fear of missing opportunity, of being seen as less hardworking and less reliable than co-workers and thus expendable. Matthew Kitchen, WSJ, "How to Disconnect From ‘Always On’ Work Culture," 5 Oct. 2018 With Antonio Brown continuing to be one of the best receivers in the NFL, the emergence of 2017 rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster likely left Bryant expendable. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Steelers cast off Martavis Bryant in trade to Raiders," 26 Apr. 2018 Not one of them is expendable or arm candy or waiting to be rescued by a man. Nicole Blades, Good Housekeeping, "7 Reasons Why All Parents Should Take Their Kids to See "Black Panther"," 7 Mar. 2018 With Delta IV Heavy’s $350 million price tag up against a (fully recoverable) $90 million Falcon Heavy, Vulcan begins to look like a solid option in an industry where the days of expendable rockets are limited. Robin Seemangal, Popular Mechanics, "A Workhorse Rocket Maker Tries to Touch the Sun—And Stay Relevant," 16 Aug. 2018 The Electron is a 56-foot-long, 23,000-pound two-stage expendable rocket that first launched an unsuccessful test flight on May 25, 2017. Marco Santana, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Cape Canaveral one of four options for Rocket Lab launch pad," 11 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of expendable


1805, in the meaning defined above


1942, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about expendable

Share expendable

Dictionary Entries near expendable


expeller man






Statistics for expendable

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expendable

The first known use of expendable was in 1805

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!