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

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?
Recent Examples on the Web Aside from climate spending, the reconciliation bill also would allocate $64 billion to extend expiring Affordable Care Act subsidies by three years, through 2025. Isabella Murray, ABC News, 6 Aug. 2022 The bill would allocate billions of dollars to schools and communities for expanding mental health programs. Emily Cochrane,, 23 June 2022 The version from city staff would allocate $500,000 for downtown capital needs and the master plan, but the Downtown Little Rock Partnership would be required to raise the money for any remaining costs related to the master plan. Joseph Flaherty, Arkansas Online, 20 June 2022 While Biden is not the first president to propose this kind of incentive, his plan would allocate the largest amount of federal funds to encourage denser zoning. Nate Dicamillo, Quartz, 25 May 2022 In addition, the plan would allocate $64 million to county water and sewer systems, $31 million for the county’s 156 parks, $28 million for county branch libraries and $22 million for affordable housing, Aghassi said. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 May 2022 The mayor’s proposal would allocate $12 million in funding for outreach and create three new drop-in centers providing medical and behavioral health services. Grace Ashford, New York Times, 24 Apr. 2022 Garcetti’s budget proposal would also allocate nearly $1.2 billion for initiatives to address homelessness, with the largest share going toward the Project Homekey program. Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2022 According to the hotel group, the plan would allocate $250 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide one-time grants of $1,500 per room for every hotel in the state. Rafael Guerrero,, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for allocate


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on allocate

Nglish: Translation of allocate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of allocate for Arabic Speakers


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