[ ik-spen-duh-buh l ]
/ ɪkˈspɛn də bəl /


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.

Nearby words

  1. expellant,
  2. expellee,
  3. expeller,
  4. expellers,
  5. expend,
  6. expenditure,
  7. expense,
  8. expense account,
  9. expenses,
  10. expensive

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 expendable

British Dictionary definitions for expendable


/ (ɪkˈspɛndəbəl) /


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 expendable



1805, from expend + -able.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper