Simple Definition of expropriate
: to take (someone's property)
Full Definition of expropriate
1 : to deprive of possession or proprietary rights
2 : to transfer (the property of another) to one's own possession
expropriatorplay \-ˌā-tər\ noun
Examples of expropriate in a sentence
<dissidents were shot, and their lands expropriated under his regime>
<the state will have to expropriate scores of homeowners in order to build the new road>
Did You Know?
If you guessed that expropriate has something in common with the verb appropriate, you're right. Both words ultimately derive from the Latin adjective proprius, meaning "own." Expropriate came to us by way of the Medieval Latin verb expropriare, itself from Latin ex- ("out of" or "from") and proprius. Appropriate descends from Late Latin appropriare, which joins proprius and Latin ad- ("to" or "toward"). Both the verb appropriate ("to take possession of" or "to set aside for a particular use") and the adjective appropriate ("fitting" or "suitable") have been with us since the 15th century, and expropriate has been a part of the language since at least 1611. Other proprius descendants in English include proper and property.
Origin and Etymology of expropriate
Medieval Latin expropriatus, past participle of expropriare, from Latin ex- + proprius own
First Known Use: 1611
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