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

This thread from November 2017, for instance, documents a complaint one organization made about Bravo to RIPE NCC, the organization responsible for allocating and registering IP addresses in 75 countries in Europe and Western Asia. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "How 3ve’s BGP hijackers eluded the Internet—and made $29M," 21 Dec. 2018 Over the last three years, while allocating more than $2 billion a year to its programming, the network has made nearly $6 billion in profit. New York Times, "HBO Must Get Bigger and Broader, Says Its New Overseer," 8 July 2018 And the Geo Group’s political action committee, while bipartisan in its giving, allocates many of its biggest donations to Republicans., "Contractors housing migrant children are close to Trump’s inner circle," 4 July 2018 In 2016, he was promoted to lead the department, making him responsible for approving expenses and deciding how to allocate funds. Khadeeja Safdar, WSJ, "Under Armour Ousts Two Executives After Review of Expenses," 10 Dec. 2018 Still to be determined are attorney fees and costs that Touchstone is eligible to collect as the prevailing party, and how those might be allocated between The Times and LeatherCare. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "Judge holds Seattle Times, leather-cleaning company responsible for cleanup costs at former Troy Laundry site," 24 Aug. 2018 How the funds will be allocated will be discussed by the board at the meeting. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "Under fire, Miami schools chief revises ballot language to hike taxes for teacher pay," 12 July 2018 Roush and Martin talked for several hours about the team's composition, how much would be invested, what the growth strategy was, and how resources would be allocated. Jason Hoffman,, "Legendary NASCAR team owner Jack Roush hoping to cross Kentucky Speedway off bucket list," 11 July 2018 The United States, Canada and Mexico should automatically qualify as hosts — the region gets to decide how to allocate its slots — and hosts often outplay their own abilities. Mike Jensen,, "The World Cup is coming, and memories from '94 flood back," 13 June 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

9 Jan 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

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