al·​lo·​cate ˈa-lə-ˌkāt How to pronounce allocate (audio)
allocated; allocating

transitive verb

: to apportion for a specific purpose or to particular persons or things : distribute
allocate tasks among human and automated components
: to set apart or earmark : designate
allocate a section of the building for special research purposes
allocatable adjective
allocation noun
allocator noun

Example Sentences

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 Last week, the West Hartford Town Council voted to amend the town’s Fund Balance Policy to allocate one-third of future annual surpluses to the Fund Balance, which would move the town’s ratio closer to 16% over time, town officials said. Taylor Hartz, Hartford Courant, 26 Feb. 2023 In 1996, a buffer zone was created around the new park, along with 21 buffer zone committees that receive and allocate 30 to 50 percent of park revenues to local conservation and socioeconomic projects. Katherine Gallardo, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Dec. 2022 Angela Kelley, who served as Mayorkas' senior immigration counselor at DHS until her departure last year, lauded the 30,000 spots the Biden administration will allocate each month to admit asylum-seekers. CBS News, 6 Jan. 2023 Funds are on track to last until 2024 when advocates hope the legislature will allocate dollars from the state budget to keep it afloat, said Tiffany Walton, grants administrator at the Connecticut Bar Foundation. Ginny Monk, Hartford Courant, 11 Dec. 2022 The program, which will allocate up to 24,000 visas, requires Venezuelans to have a valid passport and a U.S. sponsor. Dallas News, 31 Oct. 2022 The state will allocate $75 million over the next several weeks to help eligible tourism organizations that apply and show the impact of the virus, Gov. Andy Beshear’s office said. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 27 July 2022 In the April 26 disclosure, Fidelity said that starting later this year, workers could allocate as much as 20% of their nest eggs to bitcoin. Anne Tergesen, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 Crestview is now due for an update, and will allocate $50,000 toward the playground in fiscal year 2023, Horsley said. The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of allocate was in 1616

Dictionary Entries Near allocate

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


al·​lo·​cate ˈal-ə-ˌkāt How to pronounce allocate (audio)
allocated; allocating
: to divide and distribute for a special reason or to particular persons or things
allocate funds among charities
: to set apart for a particular purpose
allocate materials for a project
allocation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on allocate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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