verb ap·pro·pri·ate \ə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt\

: to get or save (money) for a specific use or purpose

: to take or use (something) especially in a way that is illegal, unfair, etc.


Full Definition of APPROPRIATE

transitive verb
:  to take exclusive possession of :  annex <no one should appropriate a common benefit>
:  to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use <appropriate money for the research program>
:  to take or make use of without authority or right
ap·pro·pri·a·ble \-prē-ə-bəl\ adjective
ap·pro·pri·a·tor \-prē-ˌā-tər\ noun


  1. The town has appropriated funds to repair the bridge and work should begin this summer.
  2. The economy has been weakened by corrupt officials who have appropriated the country's resources for their own use.
  3. Elements of the design were appropriated from other architects.
  4. The term bad has been appropriated by teenagers as a synonym for good.
  5. From this source it was appropriated by Wilhelm Ropke in his effort to develop a social and political theory in which the market economy would be reconciled with the local community. —Roger Scruton, National Review, 20 June 2005


Middle English, from Late Latin appropriatus, past participle of appropriare, from Latin ad- + proprius own
First Known Use: 15th century


abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate


adjective ap·pro·pri·ate \ə-ˈprō-prē-ət\

: right or suited for some purpose or situation

Full Definition of APPROPRIATE

:  especially suitable or compatible :  fitting <an appropriate response> <remarks appropriate to the occasion>
ap·pro·pri·ate·ly adverb
ap·pro·pri·ate·ness noun


  1. Red wine would have been a more appropriate choice with the meal.
  2. The movie is perfectly appropriate to people of all ages.
  3. More than almost anyone writing today, Slater, whose prose is astringent and sensuous by turn, reflects both a genuine feeling for and appreciation of foods appropriate to the season—and a tolerance for kitchen disasters. —Cynthia Zarin, Gourmet, April 2007


(see 1appropriate)
First Known Use: 15th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: appropriate technologyPrevious Word in the Dictionary: appropinquityAll Words Near: appropriate
May 23, 2015
debouch Hear it
to emerge or cause to emerge
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears