Definition of expedient in English:

expedient

adjective

  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘While it may now be considered politically expedient to ignore this eternal truth it will never go away.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The standard of care imposed under section 4 depends, fundamentally, on what is considered expedient and reasonable in terms of general banking practice.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some scholars considered the ‘public interest’ standard to be an expedient gesture to make the government's licensing powers constitutional.’
    • ‘We are dealing with secular humanists, and while we are on earth, what is expedient, and convenient, will pass for truth and morality.’
    • ‘With a state election only weeks away, it was expedient to hijack an existing party rather than set up their own structures.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘Although they offer a convenient and expedient method of obtaining a handful of cash, there is a significant downside to the business.’
    • ‘Such expedient measures can be made to work, but their common fault is that they are almost always too low.’
    • ‘Of course, in the world of broadcasting what is possible is often undone by what is profitable - or politically expedient.’
    • ‘His positions have perfectly tracked whatever was politically expedient at the moment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    convenient, advantageous, in one's own interests, to one's own advantage, useful, of use, of service, beneficial, of benefit, profitable, gainful, effective, helpful
    practical, pragmatic, strategic, tactical
    politic, prudent, wise, judicious, sensible, desirable, suitable, advisable, appropriate, apt, fit, timely, opportune, propitious
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of an action) suitable or appropriate.
      ‘holding a public inquiry into the scheme was not expedient’
      • ‘They all go together, no matter how convenient or expedient it is to try to separate them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No problem arises without them finding the most practical and expedient solution.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For example, a two-echelon formation is the most typical and possibly the most expedient one in a given situation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What more expedient way of doing my job is there than coming out and chatting with the bands?’
      • ‘In the case of Japanese traditional arts, the vehicle of this double transformation, the expedient means, is regular training or practice.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I do not expect a reasonable or even expedient response to this question.’

noun

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

    ‘the current policy is a political expedient’
    • ‘Your Honour asks about any other expedients we might propose.’
    • ‘These unconstitutional preferments were supposed to be temporary expedients to jumpstart racial integration.’
    • ‘Among the expedients resorted to in exploiting a scientific fraud, mystifying lingo is one of the commonest, and in this he was an adept.’
    • ‘Since the federal government shows no interest in helping, states will be forced into desperate expedients.’
    • ‘All the expedients of strategy nevertheless share a common purpose: to reach military results that alter the political calculations of the belligerents.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With short-term expedients come long-term costs and uncertainties.’
    • ‘The following various procedures and expedients have evolved over time to create a ceramic program that is efficient.’
    • ‘The latter expedient, common in North America, was much less so in England.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can believe that these atrocities changed the world and made hitherto unthinkable expedients necessary.’
    • ‘These expedients for raising money displayed ‘well-nigh diabolical ingenuity’.’
    • ‘These expedients, however, did not abate poverty: indeed, if anything, they tended to increase poverty.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A series of expedients was introduced, creating twenty-one paid magistrates controlling seven police offices.’
    • ‘Temporary expedients become institutional commitments and a thick web of military and bureaucratic interests comes to dominate strategy.’
    • ‘As he most memorably said, ‘The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.’’
    • ‘Yet in practice this apparently simple expedient is frequently impossible.’
    • ‘If these expedients failed, the local parish stepped in.’
    • ‘They cannot be beaten by the standard expedients like military force or political tools.’
    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
    stopgap
    dodge
    lurk
    shift, fetch
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin expedient- extricating, putting in order from the verb expedire (see expedite). The original sense was neutral; the depreciatory sense, implying disregard of moral considerations, dates from the late 18th century.

Pronunciation:

expedient

/ikˈspēdēənt/