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I'm putting in a supply request at work and I'm asking for a class set of something, plus a few extras:

class set of 30 + 5 to cannibalize as parts inevitably go missing

I've looked up definitions...

a : to take salvageable parts from (something, such as a disabled machine) for use in building or repairing another machine

b : to make use of (a part taken from one thing) in building, repairing, or creating something else

and synonyms, but haven't found a single word synonym to use--only phrases such as "dismantle for parts."

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  • Considering we generally use it in the phrase "cannibalize for parts", I'm almost tempted to post "dismantle" an answer, but you've already ruled that one out. Dec 13, 2018 at 1:09
  • "Part out" is an idiom with essentially the same meaning as this sense of "cannibalize".
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 13, 2018 at 1:14
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    You need to explain why cannibalize is unacceptable. Dec 13, 2018 at 5:35
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    Better asked on related tech SE. I'm quite sure there is a word the geeks use.
    – Kris
    Dec 13, 2018 at 9:05
  • "+ 5 to serve as parts donors" is probably the easiest option.
    – Phil Sweet
    Dec 13, 2018 at 23:14

5 Answers 5

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In this case, while cannibalise is OK, the simpler "30 sets + 5 *for spare parts *" or even just "30 sets + 5 spares" is just as clear.

In general cannibalise and many of the suggestions in other answers work better applied to existing inventory, perhaps already past its best, rather than for new acquisitions.

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  • yeah, that's why I was looking for another word/phrase
    – miltonaut
    Dec 14, 2018 at 20:13
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In this context, I invite you to consider using "to repurpose" or "for repairs", for instance "class set of 30 + 5 for repurposing, as parts inevitably go missing"

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First of all, cannibalise is an accepted form for taking apart machines for their parts. It is also used in French (i.e. cannibaliser) and Dutch (i.e. kannibaliseren).

Recycle (Wiktionary, 2018):

To break down and reuse component materials.

E.g. "+ 5 units to recycle"

OR

Salvage (Cambridge Dictionary, 2018):

to save things from a place where other things have been damaged or lost

E.g. "+ 5 units for salvaging parts"

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A common term is teardown as in an act of completely dismantling something.
often used with the intention of rebuilding as in racing cars see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_teardown

class set of 30 + 5 to teardown as parts inevitably go missing

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stripped out is a term for dismantling a machine for parts

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    Strip out is a good answer. It'd be a better answer for this site if it were sourced, perhaps including a dictionary definition. Perhaps take a look at how to answer.
    – tmgr
    Dec 13, 2018 at 12:50

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