[ik-spen-duh-buh l]


capable of being expended.
(of an item of equipment or supply) consumed in use or not reusable.
considered to be not worth keeping or maintaining.
Military. (of personnel, equipment, or supplies) capable of being sacrificed in order to accomplish a military objective.


Usually expendables. an expendable person or thing.

Origin of expendable

First recorded in 1795–1805; expend + -able
Related formsex·pend·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·ex·pend·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expendability

Historical Examples of expendability

  • Ivy, after ten years in Interstel, you should know that experience and expendability are synonymous.


    Jim Wannamaker

British Dictionary definitions for expendability



that may be expended or used up
not essential; not worth preserving
able to be sacrificed to achieve an objective, esp a military one


something that is expendable
Derived Formsexpendability, noun
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 expendability



1805, from expend + -able.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper