expedient

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See also: expédient

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English expedient, from Old French expedient, from Latin expediens (stem expedient-), present participle of expedire (to bring forward, to dispatch, to expedite; impers. to be profitable, serviceable, advantageous, expedient), from ex (out) + pēs (foot, hoof).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ɪkˈspiːdi.ənt/
  • (file)

Adjective[edit]

expedient (comparative more expedient, superlative most expedient)

  1. Suitable to effect some desired end or the purpose intended.
    Most people, faced with a decision, will choose the most expedient option.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, John 16:7:
      Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter willnot come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
    • a. 1863, Richard Whately, Thoughts and Apophthegms
      Nothing but the right can ever be the expedient, since that can never be true expediency which would sacrifice a greater good to a less.
  2. Affording short-term benefit, often at the expense of the long-term.
    • 1849, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter III, in The History of England from the Accession of James II, volume I, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323, page 389:
      [T]he judges were unanimously of opinion that [...] by the common law of England, no man, not authorised by the crown, had a right to publish political news. While the Whig party was still formidable, the government thought it expedient occasionally to connive at the violation of this rule.
    • 2009, CQ Weekly[1], volume 67, number 31-36, page 2190:
      That's because the debate pits textbook economics — which argues that bailouts beget bad behavior begets more bailouts — against practical politics. And politics, or the taking of expedient steps to keep people happy, will almost always win.
    • 2011, L. Fletcher Prouty, Jesse Ventura, The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World[2]:
      Government has slowly but positively moved from an active course of following plans and policies to the easier and more expedient course of the counterpuncher.
    • 2013, Douglas B. Klusmeyer, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Immigration Policy in the Federal Republic of Germany[3]:
      Its policies toward foreign lab or across these eras reflect these sharp differences in context, but also reflect a common pattern to treat the recruitment and deployment of foreign nationals as an expedient measure to serve immediate economic objectives
  3. Governed by self-interest, often short-term self-interest.
    • 1861, John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism:
      But the Expedient, in the sense in which it is opposed to the Right, generally means that which is expedient for the particular interest of the agent himself; as when a minister sacrifices the interests of his country to keep himself in place.
  4. (obsolete) Expeditious, quick, rapid.
    • a 1623, Shakespeare, King John, Act II, scene i, lines 57–61:
      the adverse winds / Whose leisure I have stay'd, have given him time / To land his legions all as soon as I; / His marches are expedient to this town / His forces strong, his soldiers confident.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

expedient (plural expedients)

  1. A method or means for achieving a particular result, especially when direct or efficient; a resource.
    • 1906, O. Henry, The Green Door:
      He would never let her know that he was aware of the strange expedient to which she had been driven by her great distress.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, page 709:
      Depressingly, [...] the expedient of importing African slaves was in part meant to protect the native American population from exploitation.

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin expediēns.

Adjective[edit]

expedient (masculine and feminine plural expedients)

  1. expedient, convenient

Noun[edit]

expedient m (plural expedients)

  1. file, record, dossier

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

expedient

  1. third-person plural future active indicative of expediō

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French expédient.

Noun[edit]

expedient n (plural expediente)

  1. expedient

Declension[edit]