tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances: It is expedient that you go.
conducive to advantage or interest, as opposed to right.
acting in accordance with expediency, or what is advantageous.


a means to an end: The ladder was a useful expedient for getting to the second floor.
a means devised or employed in an exigency; resource; shift: Use any expedients you think necessary to get over the obstacles in your way.

Origin of expedient

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin expedient- (stem of expediēns), present participle of expedīre. See expedite, -ent
Related formsex·pe·di·ent·ly, adverbnon·ex·pe·di·ent, adjectivenon·ex·pe·di·ent·ly, adverbqua·si-ex·pe·di·ent, adjectivequa·si-ex·pe·di·ent·ly, adverbun·ex·pe·di·ent, adjectiveun·ex·pe·di·ent·ly, adverb

Synonyms for expedient

Antonyms for expedient

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expediently

Contemporary Examples of expediently

  • It was impossible not to question the stereotype to which she had been expediently reduced: the white woman from Kansas.

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    April 23, 2011

Historical Examples of expediently

  • Having rightly and mercifully threatened to take it, it not only rightly may take it, but expediently must.

  • To this he would answer that expediently considered no husband could be better than the one he had chosen her.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for expediently



suitable to the circumstances; appropriate
inclined towards methods or means that are advantageous rather than fair or just

noun Also: expediency

something suitable or appropriate, esp something used during an urgent situation
Derived Formsexpediently, adverb

Word Origin for expedient

C14: from Latin expediēns setting free; see expedite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for expediently



late 14c., "advantageous, fit, proper," from Old French expedient (14c.) or directly from Latin expedientem (nominative expediens) "beneficial," present participle of expedire "make fit or ready, prepare" (see expedite).

The noun meaning "a device adopted in an exigency, a resource" is from 1650s. Related: Expediential (1836); expedientially (1873); expediently (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper