ex·​pend·​able | \ ik-ˈspen-də-bəl How to pronounce expendable (audio) \

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

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Other Words from expendable


expendability \ ik-​ˌspen-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce expendable (audio) \ noun

Examples of expendable in a Sentence

Adjective employees whose jobs are considered expendable
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Finally, there another program called Project Mayhem for a larger but still expendable multi-role hypersonic vehicle capable of carrying both weapons and reconnaissance systems in internal bays. Sebastien Roblin, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 And perhaps a bit unfairly, they've kind of been lost in the shuffle and haven't gotten as much mention because people think of [Broadway] as expensive and expendable. Christina Capatides, CBS News, 16 Sep. 2021 Employees were viewed as expensive and expendable resources. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2021 An expendable parachutes down to the surface and releases a probe that descends about 1,300 to 5,000 feet (400 to 1,500 meters) below the surface. Nick Shay, Quartz, 2 Sep. 2021 Local councils, which operate independently from each other, are responsible for fundraising for expendable materials, equipment and securing volunteer leadership to operate programs. Taylor Deville, baltimoresun.com, 2 Sep. 2021 Cooper Rush, Dak Prescott's backup for most of three seasons from 2017-19 before becoming expendable after the club signed Andy Dalton last year, is giving the coaching staff something to think about with one week to go in training camp. Schuyler Dixon, Chron, 22 Aug. 2021 If the trio comes up big this season, Beckham and Landry could become expendable. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, 23 Sep. 2021 Earlier this month Miami traded a 2022 seventh-round pick to acquire offensive tackle Greg Little from the Carolina Panthers, who viewed the 2019 second-round pick as expendable. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, 28 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The performance made someone like veteran Sony Michel expendable and that’s part of the reason why Michel was traded to Los Angeles. Mark Daniels, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2021 Dickerson's activation made guard/tackle Matt Pryor expendable. Martin Frank, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2021 The draft capital in that deal is undoubtedly what interested the Spurs the most, making Young expendable. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 31 Aug. 2021 That makes Sexton expendable, because the Cavs will need to commit more than $100 million to re-sign the center. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 25 June 2021 Jones or Stidham could outplay Newton in training camp and make Newton expendable. BostonGlobe.com, 18 May 2021 Perry's ascension could make a forward like Lauren Cox expendable. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, 13 May 2021 This isn’t the first time UAA administrators have deemed skiing expendable during a budget crisis. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Jan. 2021 Even with rosters expanded from the usual 21 to 23 because of the pandemic, the Wings deemed Svechnikov expendable. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 12 Jan. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of expendable


1805, in the meaning defined above


1942, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for expendable

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The first known use of expendable was in 1805

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Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expendable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expendable. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on expendable

Nglish: Translation of expendable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expendable for Arabic Speakers


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