[ ik-spee-dee-uhnt ]
See synonyms for: expedientexpediently on Thesaurus.com

  1. tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances: It is expedient that you go.

  2. conducive to advantage or interest, as opposed to right.

  1. acting in accordance with expediency, or what is advantageous.

  1. a means to an end: The ladder was a useful expedient for getting to the second floor.

  2. 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

Other words for expedient

Opposites for expedient

Other words from expedient

  • ex·pe·di·ent·ly, adverb
  • non·ex·pe·di·ent, adjective
  • non·ex·pe·di·ent·ly, adverb
  • qua·si-ex·pe·di·ent, adjective
  • qua·si-ex·pe·di·ent·ly, adverb
  • un·ex·pe·di·ent, adjective
  • un·ex·pe·di·ent·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use expedient in a sentence

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

    This Week's Best Reads | The Daily Beast | April 23, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • 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
  • Having rightly and mercifully threatened to take it, it not only rightly may take it, but expediently must.

British Dictionary definitions for expedient


/ (ɪkˈspiːdɪənt) /

  1. suitable to the circumstances; appropriate

  2. inclined towards methods or means that are advantageous rather than fair or just

nounAlso: expediency
  1. something suitable or appropriate, esp something used during an urgent situation

Origin of expedient

C14: from Latin expediēns setting free; see expedite

Derived forms of expedient

  • expediently, adverb

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