Definition of expedient in English:



  • 1(of an action) convenient and practical although possibly improper or immoral.

    ‘either side could break the agreement if it were expedient to do so’
    • ‘It is expedient to resume the practice, which existed in the not so distant past, of exchanging military specialists, scientific collectives, and major experts in the naval sphere.’
    • ‘Now the party will have to pay the piper for doing the expedient thing instead of the right thing.’
    • ‘He acknowledged implicitly that there can be a difference between what is right and what is convenient, or politically expedient, or electorally popular.’
    • ‘It may be convenient, it may be expedient, but it is not the human condition to be without beliefs.’
    • ‘This is a very warped, although certainly expedient ‘analysis.’’
    • ‘To encourage the sacrifice of youth for the sake of advancing the ideologies of the old must be considered a form of evil that transcends local politics and expedient strategies.’
    • ‘We've got a politically expedient solution that isn't safe.’
    • ‘Of course, in the world of broadcasting what is possible is often undone by what is profitable - or politically expedient.’
    • ‘The standard of care imposed under section 4 depends, fundamentally, on what is considered expedient and reasonable in terms of general banking practice.’
    • ‘While we do not share his belief that the railways ought to be renationalised, we say that over the last 35 years expedient decisions have left the UK at a distinct disadvantage.’
    • ‘It could amount to point-scoring of the shallowest kind to seize upon any philosopher's distrait comments in order to exploit what then becomes a rather too expedient relevance to a question in hand.’
    • ‘Such expedient measures can be made to work, but their common fault is that they are almost always too low.’
    • ‘Although this is often the most expedient method of solving the problem, it has significant implications in terms of service, operation, and the quality of water delivered to the tap.’
    • ‘With a state election only weeks away, it was expedient to hijack an existing party rather than set up their own structures.’
    • ‘His positions have perfectly tracked whatever was politically expedient at the moment.’
    • ‘Perhaps they are in denial that he could have been the perpetrator of such serious offences, or maybe it is politically expedient to ignore them.’
    • ‘We are dealing with secular humanists, and while we are on earth, what is expedient, and convenient, will pass for truth and morality.’
    • ‘Some scholars considered the ‘public interest’ standard to be an expedient gesture to make the government's licensing powers constitutional.’
    • ‘While it may now be considered politically expedient to ignore this eternal truth it will never go away.’
    • ‘Although they offer a convenient and expedient method of obtaining a handful of cash, there is a significant downside to the business.’
    convenient, advantageous, in one's own interests, to one's own advantage, useful, of use, of service, beneficial, of benefit, profitable, gainful, effective, helpful
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    1. 1.1 (of an action) suitable or appropriate.
      ‘holding a public enquiry into the scheme was not expedient’
      • ‘It was decided that creating a new line on the south side of the river would be the most expedient method to effect a double-track railroad.’
      • ‘Clearly, the number of weapons and munitions of each type, which it is expedient to use against each possible enemy force, will be different too.’
      • ‘It seems a timely and expedient move that a number of agencies within the federation power structures started monitoring engineer preparation of the national territory.’
      • ‘For example, a two-echelon formation is the most typical and possibly the most expedient one in a given situation.’
      • ‘But the ultimate decision as to whether it is possible and expedient to hold the elections at any given point of time must rest with the Election Commission.’
      • ‘I do not expect a reasonable or even expedient response to this question.’
      • ‘In the case of Japanese traditional arts, the vehicle of this double transformation, the expedient means, is regular training or practice.’
      • ‘Policing is only practicable and therefore expedient if the court acting in that role has power to enforce its powers if disobeyed.’
      • ‘Memory space is limited, so we have to use it economically, storing as little as possible and forgetting as soon as is expedient.’
      • ‘There is no doubt that negotiations on this problem are possible and expedient since they would go a long way to close the gaps in the existing agreements on the limitation of strategic weapons.’
      • ‘Judges throughout the federal judiciary rely on the assistance of law clerks to ensure the smooth and expedient administration of justice.’
      • ‘What more expedient way of doing my job is there than coming out and chatting with the bands?’
      • ‘They all go together, no matter how convenient or expedient it is to try to separate them.’
      • ‘No problem arises without them finding the most practical and expedient solution.’


  • A means of attaining an end, especially one that is convenient but possibly improper or immoral.

    ‘the current policy is a political expedient’
    • ‘The following various procedures and expedients have evolved over time to create a ceramic program that is efficient.’
    • ‘Yet in practice this apparently simple expedient is frequently impossible.’
    • ‘Among the expedients resorted to in exploiting a scientific fraud, mystifying lingo is one of the commonest, and in this he was an adept.’
    • ‘Your Honour asks about any other expedients we might propose.’
    • ‘A series of expedients was introduced, creating twenty-one paid magistrates controlling seven police offices.’
    • ‘That leaves only two expedients - just print lots of new money, and inflate away the value of the benefits; or renege on Social Security's promises.’
    • ‘With short-term expedients come long-term costs and uncertainties.’
    • ‘These expedients, however, did not abate poverty: indeed, if anything, they tended to increase poverty.’
    • ‘All the expedients of strategy nevertheless share a common purpose: to reach military results that alter the political calculations of the belligerents.’
    • ‘These expedients for raising money displayed ‘well-nigh diabolical ingenuity’.’
    • ‘Since the federal government shows no interest in helping, states will be forced into desperate expedients.’
    • ‘We are not apt to fear for the fearless when we are companions in their danger, and Bob's mind was absorbed in possible expedients for the safety of the helpless in-doors.’
    • ‘As he most memorably said, ‘The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.’’
    • ‘There was no way of preparing for it without the most horrendous efforts, the most drastic expedients, to drive and dragoon their empire into the twentieth century.’
    • ‘The latter expedient, common in North America, was much less so in England.’
    • ‘They cannot be beaten by the standard expedients like military force or political tools.’
    • ‘These unconstitutional preferments were supposed to be temporary expedients to jumpstart racial integration.’
    • ‘Temporary expedients become institutional commitments and a thick web of military and bureaucratic interests comes to dominate strategy.’
    • ‘You can believe that these atrocities changed the world and made hitherto unthinkable expedients necessary.’
    • ‘If these expedients failed, the local parish stepped in.’
    measure, means, method, stratagem, scheme, plan, course of action, solution, move, tactic, manoeuvre, recourse, resource, device, tool, contrivance, ploy, plot, machination, trick, ruse, artifice, invention
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Late Middle English: from Latin expedient- ‘extricating, putting in order’, from the verb expedire (see expedite).