difference between expand and expend

Two words that differ in their spelling by a single letter.
How did this difference come about? We need to dig into the origin of these words to explore the difference:

Expand originated from the Latin word expandere which means to spread out.
Expend originated from the Latin word expendere which means to laid out, paid.

Expand means when something swells out, extends in directions and increases in shape, size or quantity.
Expend means to use up or consume fully. Remember the word expenditure comes from the same root and both the words point out to the same thing. Does the word ‘expenses’ come to mind?

Tool tip to remember the difference:

Just Remember: Expend, the verb, is related to expenditure, the noun. Both are further related to expenses.

Examples of incorrect uses of Expand and Expend:

1. Companies tend to expend their revenue.
2. We are asked to expand pity and resentment towards the society.

Examples of correct uses of Expand and Expend:

1. We should continue to expand our technology.
2. They must expend energy to reorder the system.

A Quick Recap:


Expand (ik SPAND) means:
1. To spread out, open out, stretch out: “She stood on the lawn to expand her arms as if to embrace the whole world.”
2. To make greater in size: “He used a special tool to expand the width of the pipe.”
Expend (ik SPEND) means:
1. To spend or to use something: “When running, try not to expend all your energy in the first few minutes.”
2. To use time, energy, effort, etc. for a particular purpose or objective: “We must be willing to expend the time and resources required to complete this project.”
We agreed to expend our personal resources in an effort to expand the prospects of our company.