Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Suitable or efficient for accomplishing a purpose.
  • adjective Convenient but based on a concern for self-interest rather than principle.
  • adjective Obsolete Speedy; expeditious.
  • noun Something that is a means to an end, especially when based on self-interest.
  • noun Something contrived or used to meet an urgent need.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Serving to promote or urge forward; quick; expeditious.
  • Direct; without deviation or unnecessary delay.
  • Tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances; advisable.
  • Conducive or tending to present advantage or self-interest.
  • Synonyms and Advisable, desirable, advantageous, profitable, useful, best, wise.
  • noun That which serves to promote or advance a desired result; any means which may be employed to accomplish an end.
  • noun Means devised or employed in an exigency; a shift; a device.
  • noun Synonyms Expedient, Resource, Resort, Contrivance, Device, Shift. Expedient, contrivance, and device indicate artificial means of escape from difficulty or embarrassment; resource indicates natural means or something possessed; resort and shift may indicate either. A shift is a temporary, poor, or desperate expedient. When one's resources begin to fail, one has recourse to contrivances, expedients, etc., and finally to almost any shift. Resort is less often applied to the thing resorted to than to the act of resorting. Contrivance and device suggest most of ingenuity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Hastening or forward; hence, tending to further or promote a proposed object; fit or proper under the circumstances; conducive to self-interest; desirable; advisable; advantageous; -- sometimes contradistinguished from right or principled.
  • adjective obsolete Quick; expeditious.
  • noun That which serves to promote or advance; suitable means to accomplish an end.
  • noun Means devised in an exigency; shift.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Simple, easy, or quick; convenient.
  • adjective Governed by self-interest, often short-term self-interest.
  • noun A method or means for achieving a particular result, especially when direct or efficient; a resource.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective appropriate to a purpose; practical
  • noun a means to an end; not necessarily a principled or ethical one
  • adjective serving to promote your interest

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Latin expediēns, expedient-, present participle of expedīre, to make ready; see expedite.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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") + pes

Examples

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