al·​lo·​cate | \ ˈa-lə-ˌkāt How to pronounce allocate (audio) \
allocated; allocating

Definition of allocate

transitive verb

1 : to apportion for a specific purpose or to particular persons or things : distribute allocate tasks among human and automated components
2 : to set apart or earmark : designate allocate a section of the building for special research purposes

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Other Words from allocate

allocatable \ -​ˌkā-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce allocatable (audio) \ adjective
allocation \ ˌa-​lə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce allocation (audio) \ noun
allocator \ ˈa-​lə-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce allocator (audio) \ noun

Examples of allocate in a Sentence

Money from the sale of the house was allocated to each of the children. We need to determine the best way to allocate our resources. Have enough funds been allocated to finance the project?
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Recent Examples on the Web

There should be a mandate that a certain percentage of the revenue be allocated to two programs: Some should go to scholarships for economically needy or truly exceptional scholars. William L. Rukeyser, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Here’s how NCAA college sports could be deregulated," 4 Aug. 2019 Deadly mass shootings have prompted Congress to scrutinize how resources are allocated for investigating groups that post domestic terrorist threats. Suhauna Hussainwriter, Los Angeles Times, "Deadly violence heightens concerns about domestic terrorism and white supremacists," 3 Aug. 2019 Participants learn how decisions are made, how city funds are allocated and how departments operate. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Newcomers club hosts outing for garden buffs," 2 Aug. 2019 Another major breakthrough that Miller boasts is that these satellites will communicate with phones using the same radio frequencies that are already allocated for cell service providers. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Space startup aims to launch thousands of satellite ‘cell towers’ that connect to the average phone," 2 Aug. 2019 Republicans said Thursday money has already been allocated from an earlier spending bill and no new funding is needed immediately. Lisa Mascaro, Anchorage Daily News, "Election security divides Congress after Mueller’s testimony," 25 July 2019 The national election commission reported Tuesday that with 98% of ballots counted, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People party had 43% of the vote for the 225 seats in parliament that are allocated proportionally. Washington Post, "Ukraine president’s party gets solid parliament majority," 24 July 2019 Political instability could affect investment in Puerto Rico's economy, which is already in danger of slowing unless more federal funds are allocated to the island. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "More cruise ships bypass San Juan, hurting local businesses," 22 July 2019 That could reduce Democratic representation when congressional districts are allocated in 2021 and affect how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending are distributed. Michael Crowley, New York Times, "Trump Says He Will Seek Citizenship Information From Existing Federal Records, Not the Census," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'allocate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of allocate

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for allocate

Medieval Latin allocatus, past participle of allocare, from Latin ad- + locare to place, from locus place — more at stall

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Statistics for allocate

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for allocate

The first known use of allocate was in 1616

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More Definitions for allocate



English Language Learners Definition of allocate

: to divide and give out (something) for a special reason or to particular people, companies, etc.


al·​lo·​cate | \ ˈa-lə-ˌkāt\
allocated; allocating

Kids Definition of allocate

1 : to divide and give out for a special reason or to particular people or things Funds were allocated among the clubs.
2 : to set apart for a particular purpose Part of the classroom was allocated for reading.

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More from Merriam-Webster on allocate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with allocate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for allocate

Spanish Central: Translation of allocate

Nglish: Translation of allocate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of allocate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on allocate

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of or relating to the heavens

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