Also found in: Thesaurus.
1. Suitable or efficient for accomplishing a purpose: thought email was the most expedient way to communicate with distant relatives.
2. Convenient but based on a concern for self-interest rather than principle: changed his position when it was politically expedient.
3. Obsolete Speedy; expeditious.
1. Something that is a means to an end, especially when based on self-interest: compromised only as an expedient to boost his career.
2. Something contrived or used to meet an urgent need: exhausted every expedient before filing a lawsuit.
[Middle English, from Latin expediēns, expedient-, present participle of expedīre, to make ready; see expedite.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.