ex·​pend | \ ik-ˈspend How to pronounce expend (audio) \
expended; expending; expends

Definition of expend

transitive verb

1 : to pay out : spend the social services upon which public revenue is expended— J. A. Hobson
2 : to make use of for a specific purpose : utilize projects on which they expended great energy also : use up

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Other Words from expend

expender noun

Examples of expend in a Sentence

Are we willing to expend the time and resources required to solve the problem? redecoration will have to wait, since we've just expended our last dollar in buying the house
Recent Examples on the Web Families have to expend resources to help buy school supplies and now those funds would be there. Tax Notes Staff, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2021 Now, the first comprehensive study of energy use over the human life span has quantified their burn rate: Infants between the ages of 9 and 15 months expend a stunning 50% more energy in 1 day than adults do, adjusted for body size. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, 12 Aug. 2021 But Stone shouldn’t expend resources upon veterans in a rush of the rebuild. Rahat Huq, Chron, 10 Aug. 2021 Their descendants would expend much blood and treasure securing liberty at home and promoting it abroad. The Editors, National Review, 4 July 2021 While only the top four vote-getters advance to the general election, independent candidates and minor political parties won’t have to expend as much effort to file for the primary, state attorneys wrote in court documents. Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, 9 July 2021 Thus, the decision to expend the money versus the admittedly unassured chances of resuming operations is a proposition that is hard to mindfully calculate and is altogether tempting. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 14 June 2021 With all that heat and humidity, sweat can wreak havoc on a look that took precious time and effort (something not many of us care to expend post-pandemic). Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, 14 June 2021 Forcing Dončić to make tough decisions on defense, expend his energy, and waiting for the mistakes. Shane Young, Forbes, 5 June 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for expend

Middle English, from Latin expendere to weigh out, expend, from ex- + pendere to weigh — more at spin

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Time Traveler for expend

Time Traveler

The first known use of expend was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near expend

expeller man



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Statistics for expend

Last Updated

3 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expend. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for expend



English Language Learners Definition of expend

: to use or spend (something)
: to use (time, energy, effort, etc.) for a particular purpose


ex·​pend | \ ik-ˈspend How to pronounce expend (audio) \
expended; expending

Kids Definition of expend

1 : to pay out : spend
2 : to use up He expended a lot of energy.

More from Merriam-Webster on expend

Nglish: Translation of expend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expend for Arabic Speakers


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