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

Facebook and Amazon don’t offer dividends, instead allocating money to grow their businesses. Esther Fung, WSJ, "Tech Selloff Trips Up Data Center Stocks," 6 Nov. 2018 The village has allocated that money for potential pre-litigation work, but no contract has been awarded yet, Owen said. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Continuing Amtrak Hiawatha fight, Glenview to pay for $160,000 train traffic analysis," 10 July 2018 Westminster Village also has a board of directors that helps facilitate and approve decisions on spending and allocating money for best uses. Brian Sodoma, azcentral, "Is a not-for-profit retirement community the right choice for you?," 27 June 2018 The jail is also allocated $20 per hour, per guard, plus a mileage stipend for transporting detainees. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "Here’s how immigration officials treat parents and children in Indiana," 19 June 2018 The items allocating money for immigration lawyers build on existing programs. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "How the California state budget helps undocumented immigrants fight deportation," 18 June 2018 Bishop said the district could allocate the new money in many different ways. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Legislature boosts education funding for public schools and UA," 15 May 2018 There are 47 countries in the Human Rights Council, elected by the U.N.’s General Assembly with a specific number of seats allocated for each region of the globe. Washington Post, "US leaving UN’s Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias," 20 June 2018 Rather, the board said in a press release, funding allocated for the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program should be redirected to hire more school resource officers. Marlena Baldacci And Dave Alsup, CNN, "Broward schools don't plan to arm teachers," 10 Apr. 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

13 Nov 2018

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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Comments on allocate

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