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 allocate (audio) \ adjective
allocation \ ˌa-​lə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce allocate (audio) \ noun
allocator \ ˈa-​lə-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce allocate (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 Bronin also touched on the capital city’s plan to allocate federal funding from the American Rescue Plan, which will provide Hartford with around $116.7 million to be spent by the end of 2024. Jessika Harkay,, 19 Apr. 2021 But exactly how to spend and allocate the semiconductor funding is a source of debate among automakers and other consumers of chips, as well as the semiconductor companies themselves. Josh Wingrove, Fortune, 13 Apr. 2021 The board also does not have the authority to allocate state funding to schools, so there was no check to cover the costs. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Mar. 2021 Voters in two other states, Missouri and Oklahoma, passed ballot initiatives last year expanding their Medicaid programs, although the legislatures in those states have yet to allocate the funding. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, 21 Mar. 2021 Beginning in 2025, the SEC will allocate a portion of the media rights fees to be received by the conference to fund the supplemental distribution. Mark Heim |, al, 20 May 2021 Companies allocate exorbitant amounts of money to lobby for legislation that aligns with their business interests. Mlt, Forbes, 19 May 2021 For rockets projected to land in heavily populated areas, the Iron Dome will allocate two Tamir interceptors to ensure the rocket is shot down. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 13 May 2021 But allocate no money that will effectually perpetuate indolence. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 May 2021

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

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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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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