Emperor You expended the whole empire in order to make his loved one smile once. (self-made)

According to my Longman dictionary, “expend” means “use up”. So it will be more naturally if its object is money or other kinds of resources. The context is that the Emperor’s attempt to make his girl laugh incurs an unexpected disaster, which seal the doom of the empire. So will “expend” be able to express what I mean?

  • 2
    This belongs in the writer's stackexchange I think – mplungjan Dec 4 '13 at 9:44
  • Check again, expend = spend or use up. That should be okay. – Kris Dec 4 '13 at 14:09
  • mp: or English Language Learners, perhaps – J.R. Jan 11 '14 at 10:35

This is a proper use of "expend" but it doesn't mean "sealing the doom of the empire." One who "uses up" an empire has used up that empire's resources.

The emperor has used up his empire on frivolous things.

You can always be more specific, however:

You expended the whole of your empire's resources in order to make his loved one smile once.

The emperor has used up his empire's resources on frivolous things.


Oxford English Dictionary defines “expend” as verb;

to spend or use up (a resource such as money or energy).

Oxford Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary defines it as verb;

to use or spend a lot of time, money energy, etc.

Cambridge English Dictionary defines it as verb;

to use or spend time, effort, or money.

Both OALED and CED don’t include the meaning of ‘use up’.

Though the “expended” in your quote appears to implicate “used up” to me, the “expend” in the following sentence of New York Times seems to imply “spend or ‘consume,” not, or short of “use up” or “exhaust.”

“Yuzuru Hanyu (the Gold medal winning figure skater in Sochi Olympic Games) seemed anxious during warm-ups, expending tremendous energy and jumping uncertainly. When his long program opened, he fell on his first jump, a quad salchow.” http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/14/sports/olympics/mens-figure-skating.html?hp&_r=0

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