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Multiple Meanings

It was a necessary expedient to get the job done.
a practical action — especially one that accepts negative tradeoffs due to circumstances


convenient, speedy, or practical

Much more rarely, expedient can also imply that an action was taken for reasons of self-interest rather than for moral reasons.

In the sense of speedy, the word is less commonly used today than in the past; though it may still be used as in "an expedient end" or "an expedient amount of time," or "We are depending upon your expediency."
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