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 True progress won’t come without discomfort, says Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, which allocates hundreds of millions of dollars annually to efforts promoting equality. Pamela Newkirk, Time, "Diversity Has Become a Booming Business. So Where Are the Results?," 10 Oct. 2019 The funding is part of the bill funding the Department of Homeland Security, which allocates money for carrying out the administration’s immigration policies., "Congress on Thursday gave final approval to a short-term spending bill that would punt the threat of a government shutdown to just before Thanksgiving, giving lawmakers an additional two months to resolve their differences over paying for President Trump’s policies.," 27 Sep. 2019 In particular, many Republicans said congressional Democrats have been playing politics by seeking election-security funding that already has been allocated for that purpose. Fox News, "Sanders slams McConnell's 'cowardice' in fiery visit to top Republican's home state of Kentucky," 26 Aug. 2019 This is a change from a previous policy that did allocate customers’ tips toward delivery workers’ base pay. Shirin Ghaffary, Vox, "Where your delivery app tips really go, explained," 24 July 2019 Following the vote, council approved a resolution that will allocate nearly $800,000 in bond funds toward sprucing up the park with tables, chairs and planter boxes. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit City Council votes to keep Spirit of Detroit Plaza downtown," 23 July 2019 Has control over the algorithms and designs that allocate attention become the latest tool in the landlord’s toolbox? Tim O'reilly, Quartz, "Antitrust regulators are using the wrong tools to break up Big Tech," 17 July 2019 France and other European countries want a system that allocates more of Silicon Valley’s profits to their territories for taxation. Paul Hannon, WSJ, "France Presses On With Digital Tax Despite U.S. Probe," 11 July 2019 Take China, which allocated large swaths of mid-band spectrum for its carriers last year, clearing the way for deployment in a country that is also home to Huawei, the largest telecommunications equipment supplier worldwide. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Choosing the Wrong Lane in the Race to 5G," 10 June 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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Time Traveler for allocate

Time Traveler

The first known use of allocate was in 1616

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Statistics for allocate

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for allocate


How to pronounce allocate (audio)

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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