Definition of expedient noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ɪkˈspiːdiənt//
; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈspiːdiənt//
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an action that is useful or necessary for a particular purpose, but not always fair or right The disease was controlled by the simple expedient of not allowing anyone to leave the city. Word Originlate Middle English: from Latin expedient- ‘extricating, putting in order’, from the verb expedire ‘extricate (originally by freeing the feet), put in order’, from ex- ‘out’ + pes, ped- ‘foot’. The original sense was neutral; the negative sense, implying disregard of moral considerations, dates from the late 18th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: expedient

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