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expedient (adj.)

late 14c., "advantageous, fit, proper to a purpose," from Old French expedient "useful, beneficial" (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, that which serves to advance a desired result" is from 1650s. Related: Expediential; expedientially (both 19c.).

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. [Century Dictionary]

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Definitions of expedient from WordNet
1
expedient (adj.)
serving to promote your interest;
was merciful only when mercy was expedient
expedient (adj.)
appropriate to a purpose; practical;
in the circumstances it was expedient to express loyalty
2
expedient (n.)
a means to an end; not necessarily a principled or ethical one;
From wordnet.princeton.edu