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

If a candidate fails to win the majority of votes, the last-place finisher is eliminated and the second-choice votes of everyone who ranked that candidate first are allocated until someone receives more than 50 percent. Fox News, "Maine set to become first state to allow ranked voting in presidential election," 7 Sep. 2019 Altogether, the Office of Professional and Public Guardians says it has been allocated $150,000 to pay for professional guardian investigations since 2016. Jason Garcia,, "Florida lawmakers refused to pay to investigate more guardians," 5 Sep. 2019 And despite those shrinking funds, some of the money that had been allocated for the Mustansiriya’s restoration has gone missing. Peter Schwartzstein, Smithsonian, "What the Restoration of Iraq’s Oldest University Says About the Nation’s Future," 4 Sep. 2019 Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said the military needs the money that's already been allocated. NBC News, "Pentagon is moving $3.6 billion in military funding to build Trump's wall," 4 Sep. 2019 Again, it is not required under the Constitution, and in the early days of the republic electors were often allocated on a proportional basis. Jay Cost, National Review, "Chris Hayes and Progressives’ Lack of Respect for the Constitution," 3 Sep. 2019 Hasbro executives said share buybacks will be halted and that cash will instead be allocated to paying down debt. Matt Townsend, Fortune, "Hasbro to Buy Peppa Pig Studio for $4 Billion," 23 Aug. 2019 The program’s current fiscal year budget is $5.7 million, which is evenly allocated to each of the five county supervisors to direct. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County, USD partner to launch small business program in six neighborhoods," 12 Aug. 2019 For a parliamentary majority in Italy, a party needs only about 40% of the vote, since smaller parties that fail to reach a threshold of 3% are eliminated, and just over a third of the seats are allocated on a first-past-the-post basis. The Economist, "Italy’s government is on the brink of collapse," 9 Aug. 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

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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Statistics for allocate

Last Updated

18 Sep 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

What made you want to look up allocate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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