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

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 Not enough gets talked about how unselfish and how much Jasmine Thomas and Bri January expend at the defensive end. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, 10 Aug. 2021 That’s a metric of how much atmospheric energy storms expend on their winds, and is a product of storm strength and duration. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021 Some organizations expend a lot of energy driving home the message that failure isn't an option. Kevin Collins, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 Weighted down by oil and cold water, a bird has to expend more energy to fly, float and maintain its body temperature at 103 degrees. Robin Estrin, Los Angeles Times, 14 Oct. 2021 Why expend substantial effort to determine whether 114 can be written as the sum of three cubes? Rachel Crowell, Scientific American, 14 Oct. 2021 When some or all of these example indicators of a compromised budget are true, important things are either going undone or people are having to expend heroic efforts to keep everything moving, which burns people out and causes undesired attrition. Sammy Migues, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 As a result, Wolff is willing to expend county funds for a rescue boat, but only after Salazar appears before commissioners to answer questions on its storage, operation and other details. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, 14 June 2021 Families have to expend resources to help buy school supplies and now those funds would be there. Tax Notes Staff, Forbes, 1 Mar. 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

14 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expend. Accessed 30 Nov. 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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