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 But overall growth in revenues allocated to the MPS school operations fund has not kept up with inflation since 2013, and the increases in the next two years will not be enough to make up for that. Rob Henken, Anne Chapman And Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "MPS is proposing to raise taxes to fund educational programs. Here's what to know before you vote April 7.," 16 Jan. 2020 Matthews allocated 75% of the spill liability to Williams and 25% to Flint Hills in the trial to decide THE allocation of responsibility. Dan Joling, Anchorage Daily News, "Former owner of North Pole refinery ordered to pay over $29 million in water pollution case," 4 Jan. 2020 The jury broke down responsibility for the accident between the corporate and individual defendants, allocating percentages to each. NBC News, "Jury awards $8.6 million in death of 'Walking Dead' stuntman," 20 Dec. 2019 Democrats say their bill addresses research and development concerns by allocating more than $10 billion to the National Institutes of Health for biomedical research, with the goal of advancing breakthrough cures., "WASHINGTON — The House, delivering on one of the Democrats’ central campaign promises, on Thursday passed ambitious legislation to lower the rising cost of prescription drugs by empowering the US government to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers.," 13 Dec. 2019 Interesting opinion, Michael, about re-allocating that money to younger options. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Mailbag: How does Drew Lock’s initial success impact team’s 2020 draft plans?," 10 Dec. 2019 Making the Guest List At her wedding in 1981, Princess Diana was shown a list of people who her father John Spencer wanted to invite to fill some of the 50 seats allocated to him in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Simon Perry,, "10 Bombshells from Royal Biographer's Secret Diary — Including Service to Lay Diana's Ghost to Rest," 6 Nov. 2019 This implies that for each rupee allocated to an average or below-average performer, Rs2.16 goes to a top performer, compared to about Rs1.3 last year. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Even with a mere 10% salary hike, Indians will top Asia Pacific in 2020," 6 Nov. 2019 The Thai film fund is aimed at supporting independent Southeast Asian cinema and has allocated cash to three fiction films and two documentaries. Mathew Scott, The Hollywood Reporter, "Lav Diaz, Edwin Among Recipients of Thailand’s Purin Pictures Grants," 1 Nov. 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

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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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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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).


dull or mediocre

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