Why was clemency trending last week?


[ik-spee-dee-uh nt] /ɪkˈspi di ənt/
tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances:
It is expedient that you go.
conducive to advantage or interest, as opposed to right.
acting in accordance with expediency, or what is advantageous.
a means to an end:
The ladder was a useful expedient for getting to the second floor.
a means devised or employed in an exigency; resource; shift:
Use any expedients you think necessary to get over the obstacles in your way.
Origin of expedient
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin expedient- (stem of expediēns), present participle of expedīre. See expedite, -ent
Related forms
expediently, adverb
nonexpedient, adjective
nonexpediently, adverb
quasi-expedient, adjective
quasi-expediently, adverb
unexpedient, adjective
unexpediently, adverb
1. advisable, appropriate, desirable; advantageous, profitable. 5. device, contrivance, resort.
1. disadvantageous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for expedient
  • The timing does seem mighty expedient.
  • We can afford to focus on not getting by with the expedient.
  • He made his decision on what is best for the country rather than what is politically expedient.
  • He is quite content to go along on an issue he knows to be wrong — if that is the expedient thing to do.
  • Science can't give us meaning, but it can be an expedient.
  • That sort of expedient partisanship is a poor reason for reversing the law.
  • In fact, that person is making a reasonable and an expedient decision.
  • For every reckless and expedient act, there are others of leadership and vision.
  • He saw the light when it became politically expedient.
  • But surely there must be a more expedient method.
British Dictionary definitions for expedient


suitable to the circumstances; appropriate
inclined towards methods or means that are advantageous rather than fair or just
something suitable or appropriate, esp something used during an urgent situation
Derived Forms
expediently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin expediēns setting free; see expedite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for expedient

late 14c., "advantageous, fit, proper," from Old French expedient (14c.) or directly from Latin expedientem (nominative expediens) "beneficial," present participle of expedire "make fit or ready, prepare" (see expedite).

The noun meaning "a device adopted in an exigency, a resource" is from 1650s. Related: Expediential (1836); expedientially (1873); expediently (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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