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 school district released an online survey on Thursday for residents to consider a ballot measure to allocate up to $70 million for a construction project. New York Times, "Columbine High School Could Be Torn Down to Deter Copycats," 7 June 2019 Worried that the assistance would not be enough to ensure tenants of the 185-room hotel would find another home, Housing Commission members in March agreed to allocate $500,000 to help them relocate. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lawsuit argues Plaza Hotel owners must replace lost rooms," 6 June 2019 Census data is used to allocate hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding each year, as well as in congressional apportionment and redistricting. Washington Post, "Judge declines to rule immediately on new evidence in census citizenship case," 6 June 2019 Miami could go under slot with some of their earlier college selections to allocate money for Fitterer. Wells Dusenbury,, "Marlins continue targeting college bats on Day 2 of MLB draft; land intriguing HS pitcher," 4 June 2019 The holdup over the bill was primarily over the amount of money going to Puerto Rico, which gets more than $900 million in this bill, and whether to allocate money to process migrants at the Mexico border. Kate Irby, sacbee, "Wildfire relief bill on its way to President Trump’s desk despite Republican ‘no’ votes," 3 June 2019 That probably sounds excessive, as even fairly beefy GPUs can run with well under 550 watts of power but Razer said folks should remember the cabinet has to have enough power to allocate up to 100 watts for charging a laptop as well. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Razer's Core X Chroma eGPU cabinet features RGB and Intel's latest Thunderbolt 3 controller," 16 Apr. 2019 While 15% of the government’s budget is meant to be allocated for overall health care, less than 2% is being received, said Felix Lado Johnson, the minister of health for the capital, Juba. Sam Mednick, The Seattle Times, "In South Sudan, midwives bring down deaths despite the odds," 13 Apr. 2019 Some anticipate a major legal battle if Trump declares a national emergency to allocate border wall funding. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Is Threatening to Declare a National Emergency to Get Border Wall Funding. Here's Why He Shouldn’t.," 11 Jan. 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

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

12 Jun 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

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