al·​lo·​cate | \ ˈa-lə-ˌkāt \
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 \ adjective
allocation \ ˌa-​lə-​ˈkā-​shən \ noun
allocator \ ˈa-​lə-​ˌkā-​tər \ 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

The visibility and adulation for the founder-CEO can often allocate the resources of society towards that kind of entrepreneurship, rather than the more common kind, which is opening a nail salon or a law practice. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "CEOs have never been more idolized. 5 experts explain why that’s a problem.," 29 Nov. 2018 Since taking over in 2003, the city began allocating about $200,000 a year into each course, and the improvements have been gradual but noticeable. Ben Volin,, "Restoration has made George Wright and Franklin Park golfing jewels," 3 July 2018 Freed from overbearing parents, the new entities become more efficient at allocating capital. The Economist, "John Flannery gets down to business restructuring General Electric," 27 June 2018 The number allocating at least 20 percent of their military spending to major equipment purchases has more than doubled (from 14 to 26). Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "As Summit Nears, NATO Allies Have One Main Worry: Trump," 26 June 2018 Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the City of Charlottesville declared States of Emergency Wednesday, a move which allocates $2 million for response efforts and permits assistance from the Virginia National Guard. Fox News, "Charlottesville, DC prepare for anniversary of violent rally," 9 Aug. 2018 Those opportunities have been largely blocked off to low-income students since 1994, when Congress stopped funding a 20-year-old program that allocated to each House member’s office funds for two-month paid internships. Catie Edmondson, New York Times, "Fighting Privilege: The Senate Finally Wants to Pay Its Interns," 28 June 2018 Last month the company launched a new fund that will allocate more investment to companies that have reached higher levels of gender diversity. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "Lessons from Europe: How to Get More Women on Corporate Boards," 15 June 2018 On Tuesday, the House passed amendments that allocated up to $300 million from credit balances in state highway funds to pay the costs of canceling or modifying the toll-lanes contract. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Does Senate vote signal the end to hated I-77 toll lanes? House doesn't agree.," 15 June 2018

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

20 Feb 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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very full or close together

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