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 \ ˈa-​lə-​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 DeWine and lawmakers are asking the state’s controlling board to allocate $300 million from CARES Act dollars to pay for the costs associated with reopening K-12 schools and higher education institutions. cleveland, "How data and time influenced Gov. Mike DeWine’s shift on county-by-county coronavirus orders: Capitol Letter," 10 July 2020 To assess those complexities, accounting firms might not always allocate the appropriate resources to fintech clients. Mark Maurer, WSJ, "Wirecard Probe Brings Scrutiny to How Fintech Companies Are Audited," 8 July 2020 These accounts allocate pretax income to be used on health services and other important costs. Theresa Gaffney, STAT, "The pandemic has exacerbated an under-the-radar health disparity: period poverty," 7 July 2020 Forewarned is forearmed: Equipped with continuous assessments across their operations, managers may allocate time and other scarce resources in order to address gaps before problems appear. Stephen Scott, Fortune, "The coronavirus crisis is increasing the risk of bank fraud. Here’s how banks can play defense," 7 July 2020 The Jefferson County Commission voted to allocate $1.9 million to support that effort. al, "Advocacy group says funding inadequate for Alabama nursing home coronavirus plan," 7 July 2020 The agency will allocate the drug to hospitals during that time. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "COVID-19 drug remdesivir priced at $390 per vial for some patients, $520 for others," 30 June 2020 In other words, HHS allocates the product to state and territorial health departments based on the needs of hospitals with Covid-19 patients, and then health departments allocate the drug to hospitals. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "Here's how much Covid-19 drug remdesivir will cost," 29 June 2020 The bill would allocate more than a quarter of the $3 billion that was sent to the state government by Congress and President Donald Trump. David Eggert, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Legislature approves $880M in pandemic spending," 18 June 2020

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

borrowed from Medieval Latin allocātus, past participle of allocāre "to place, stow, hire out, place on hire, allow, admit, credit," from Latin ad- ad- + locāre "to place, situate" — more at locate

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Time Traveler for allocate

Time Traveler

The first known use of allocate was in 1616

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Statistics for allocate

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for allocate


How to pronounce allocate (audio)

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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