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 Such a declaration could help allocate more funding to pediatric care, address nursing shortages and reduce the burden of paperwork for overwhelmed hospital staffers. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 8 Nov. 2022 California's Prop 30 is another initiative statute that would allocate funding for programs meant to produce air pollution and prevent wildfires and do so by taxing personal income over $2 million. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 19 Oct. 2022 The Legislature’s emergency board meets between sessions to allocate funding for immediate needs. oregonlive, 23 Sep. 2022 The responsibility for implementing winter shelter plans and power to open shelter in a municipal facility rests with Bronson and his administration, while the Assembly has the power to allocate funding for those plans. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Sep. 2022 The Army had attempted to defund the Chinook program under the Trump administration, citing a need to allocate funding for modernization, according to budget officials, but Congress reversed the decision and restored funding for the aircraft. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, 2 Sep. 2022 The ability for cities to raise money for education could be a major consequence of the young-family exodus out of urban areas, as most states allocate funding based on student enrollment. Alena Botros, Fortune, 28 July 2022 Democratic lawmakers, including Durbin, noted that President Biden's $37 billion Safer America Act aims to allocate more funding to struggling police departments and other public safety measures. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 26 July 2022 Each state’s lottery commission gets to determine where to allocate its earnings. Anisha Kohli, Time, 4 Nov. 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 26 Nov. 2022.

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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