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 \ -​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

The more children diagnosed with a disability at a school, the more money a state or federal program would allocate to that school. WSJ, "On the Overmedication of School Children," 14 Mar. 2019 Meituan’s rapid push to go public may suck up some of the capital that would otherwise be allocated to Didi. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "Meituan Is Said to Plan $6 Billion IPO Filing This Month," 12 June 2018 Arrowhead High School is among schools statewide to apply for a share of the $100 million the state of Wisconsin has allocated for school safety grants for public and private schools. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Arrowhead wants state grant to beef up security with video cameras, remote control doors," 7 June 2018 To keep these services, the state needs to put up $281 million of its general funding, which is now allocated to higher education, prisons and other government functions. Julia O'donoghue,, "Louisiana following through with warnings to 37,000 Medicaid recipients," 9 May 2018 And Army Corps spokesman Gene Pawlik said no money has been allocated yet for the current raft of proposals, and no timeline set for when any work would begin in the future. Johanna Seltz,, "State aims to return the beach to Nantasket," 4 May 2018 Council also voted Monday (April 23) to expand the scope of renovations going on at City Hall, including an additional $64,276 to replace the elevator, a project that has already been allocated for $180,000. Thomas Jewell,, "Shaker, county to split cost on repaving Fairhill Road: Council recap," 25 Apr. 2018 The focus shouldn't be on who gets revenue that can't be allocated accurately but on getting as much of it as possible to the publishers and songwriters who actually earned it. Robert Levine, Billboard, "Congress Should Tweak -- and Pass -- the Music Modernization Act (Column)," 20 Apr. 2018 Assuming a 6-pound-per-gallon weight, that means 240 pounds would have been allocated for fuel. Jason Pohl, azcentral, "Deadly Scottsdale plane crash: Experts say weight might have been an issue," 13 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

15 May 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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using a distributed computer network

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