expend +‎ -able


expendable (comparative more expendable, superlative most expendable)

  1. Able to be expended; not inexhaustible.
    Oil and other expendable resources are frequently the subject of military disputes.
  2. Designed for a single use; not reusable.
    The anti-aircraft rocket is fired from an expendable launch platform.
  3. Not essential or mandatory in order to achieve a goal.
    The research department was deemed expendable, and its funding was not renewed.
  4. Regarded as not worth preserving or saving; able to be sacrificed.
    In the internecine rivalries of large corporations, whole departments may become expendable in the execution of one executive's power play.
    • 2020 April 8, Howard Johnston, “East-ended? When the ECML was at risk”, in Rail, page 69:
      The Taunton-Minehead line (now managed by the West Somerset Railway) was considered much more expendable.




expendable (plural expendables)

  1. An expendable person or object; usually used in the plural.
    Private Johnson was afraid the Lieutenant considered him an expendable, since he was always picked as point man.

Derived termsEdit