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

transitive verb

: to pay out : spend
the social services upon which public revenue is expendedJ. A. Hobson
: to make use of for a specific purpose : utilize
projects on which they expended great energy
also : use up
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 Tehran is therefore highly unlikely to want to expend such a potent deterrent on Gaza, which is, in truth, of marginal strategic interest to Iran. Hussein Ibish, The New Republic, 24 Oct. 2023 Washington will need to hedge against war in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula while continuing to expend resources defending Ukraine and deterring China from attacking Taiwan. Hanna Notte, Foreign Affairs, 6 Oct. 2023 And yet significant resources (computer equipment and electric power) are expended in its creation, and eager but naive investors have poured billions of dollars into its hollow promises. WSJ, 7 Nov. 2023 Prodigious amounts of air defense munitions have already been expended in Ukraine. Nr Editors, National Review, 3 Nov. 2023 Washington said the money wouldn't be expended until the project got to that point. Eplunus Colvin, Arkansas Online, 1 Nov. 2023 Many of the most elite of these were likely expended in the Oct. 7 surprise attack, significantly reducing their fighting capabilities. Brady Knox, Washington Examiner, 1 Nov. 2023 Similar sums are being expended in Sudan and Myanmar, both of which are suffering conflicts and have vacant UN political envoy roles and no discernible peace process. Emma Beals and Peter Salisbury, Foreign Affairs, 30 Oct. 2023 That may not be enough for Sunak, whose government has expended considerable political capital assembling the summit. WIRED, 23 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'expend.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near expend

Cite this Entry

“Expend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expend. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ex·​pend ik-ˈspend How to pronounce expend (audio)
: to pay out : spend
expend state funds
: use up
expend energy

More from Merriam-Webster on expend

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