mission creep


Definition of mission creep

: the gradual broadening of the original objectives of a mission or organization

Examples of mission creep in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

All Things Apollo 11 As the countdown to the crew’s second launch of the Apollo 11 mission crept toward zero, there was no fanfare and no adoring crowds in spectator stands. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Art of the Return Trip: How NASA Got Apollo 11 Home," 24 July 2019 American critics, including former president Barack Obama, once suggested that Syria would prove a quagmire for Russia, which would succumb to the mission creep that has plagued U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Russia stays in the driver’s seat in Syria," 10 July 2018 Another way of looking at this is that, for now, mission creep is more of a risk than the actual mission. Geoff Manaugh, The Atlantic, "Drone Cops Take Flight in Los Angeles," 8 June 2018 Vida weaves the pain of gentrification and homophobia into an ultimately joyful family story The show’s most immediately urgent thread is rooted in gentrification’s mission creep across Los Angeles. Caroline Framke, Vox, "Starz’s Vida is the rare TV show that centers on a queer Latinx community. It’s wonderful.," 5 May 2018 The creature experiences its own sort of mission creep. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "In ‘Frankenstein in Baghdad,’ a Fantastical Manifestation of War’s Cruelties," 22 Jan. 2018 Over time, the risk of mission creep will rise, as will the temptation to invest in riskier assets. The Economist, "SchumpeterApple should shrink its finance arm before it goes bananas," 28 Oct. 2017 In the 1940s, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the government started the mission creep of the SSN by encouraging other federal agencies to use it to identify people. Kevin Maney, Newsweek, "Are Government-Issued ID Cards the First Step Toward Mass Mind Control?," 17 Oct. 2017 The list is a classic example of Washington mission creep and the unintended consequences that can result when misguided policies refuse to die. Joshua Keating, Slate Magazine, "How Did Trump Choose Which Countries’ Citizens to Ban?," 8 Mar. 2017

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

1991, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2019

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The first known use of mission creep was in 1991

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