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 expended J. A. Hobson
: to make use of for a specific purpose : utilize
projects on which they expended great energy
also : use up
expender noun

Example Sentences

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 By a metric of ACE, or Accumulated Cyclone Energy — a figure that estimates how much energy storms expend in the form of strong winds over their lifetimes — September 2022 was more active than September 2020 or 2021. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2022 To make the payment to the private equity funds and other shareholders, Albertsons will expend company cash and borrow about $1.5 billion. Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2022 Companies must expend both time and money to screen orders and customers. Gigi Kwik Gronvall, STAT, 6 Oct. 2022 Watch both expend their strength, potentially fatally. Dennard Dayle, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2022 Kids expend fewer calories each day because of a reduction in physical education classes and recess, and less participation in organized sports. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 29 Sep. 2022 Instead, far too many people far too often expend their energies trying to restrict access to literature, knowledge, and access. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Sep. 2022 That would give Mitchell and Garland a chance to expend more energy into running the offense while also creating an imposing, defensive-minded frontcourt that provides plenty of necessary protection for an undersized guard duo. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 27 Sep. 2022 But this breathing technique is strenuous and causes the animals to expend more energy. Stella Marie Hombach, Scientific American, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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 4 Dec. 2022.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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