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

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 The investors’ main fear was that Abraaj might have used cash allocated for investments in hospitals in Pakistan and Kenya for other, unauthorized purposes. Landon Thomas Jr., New York Times, "Chief of Leading Investment Firm Steps Aside After Client Complaints," 23 Feb. 2018 Of that amount, nearly $2,400 per student was collected locally, mostly from sales taxes allocated for the schools. Trisha Powell Crain,, "How one rural Alabama district is closing the gap, raising scores for all children," 24 Jan. 2018 San Antonio now has a record amount of money allocated for sidewalks, including some $78 million for five years of new construction that comes from the 2017-2020 bond program. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "S.A. ignores its rule that homeowners pay for sidewalks," 13 Jan. 2018 And now that the funding has been allocated, a 50-recruit class will be formed in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, and another 45-recruit class in the following fiscal year. Dominic Fracassa,, "SF Police Department likely to get additional officers mayor had sought," 27 June 2018 There are 337, legally, beds (ph), that the federal government has allocated. Fox News, "Rep. Goodlatte on what he wants to ask Peter Strzok, next steps for immigration," 24 June 2018 The panel has allocated $21.3 billion for NASA, $6.4 billion of which would go to the science division. Eric Hand, Science | AAAS, "NASA science and NSF do well in Senate spending bill," 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

30 Oct 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

What made you want to look up allocate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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