al·​lo·​cate ˈa-lə-ˌkāt How to pronounce allocate (audio)
allocated; allocating

transitive verb

: to apportion for a specific purpose or to particular persons or things : distribute
allocate tasks among human and automated components
: to set apart or earmark : designate
allocate a section of the building for special research purposes
allocatable adjective
allocation noun
allocator 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?
Recent Examples on the Web The bipartisan infrastructure bill allocated $66 billion for rail. Kris Van Cleave, CBS News, 20 Nov. 2023 Three seats are allocated to each of the city’s three voting districts (Districts A, B and C). Karina Elwood, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 To that end, last year’s Inflation Reduction Act allocated hundreds of billions of dollars to accelerate decarbonization; for instance, tax breaks for home improvements like better insulation and switching to electric appliances and heat pumps. WIRED, 14 Nov. 2023 Working in streaming means understanding how to use data to locate consumer niches; how to allocate programmatic sales; and scrutinizing such elements as whether a commercial surfaces to a particular subscriber with a too-great degree of frequency. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 8 Nov. 2023 The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed in 2021, allocated $5 billion over five years to help schools buy electric buses, and the price is expected to fall in coming years. Ivan Penn, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2023 According to a news release, the money will be to allocated to purchasing campus food pantry supplies and groceries, meal plans for houseless students, workshops for cooking and meal prep, stipends for student staff within the pantries. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 6 Nov. 2023 One way to cut costs and move faster would be to take the talented and experienced engineers on New Shepard and allocate them to the rocket and lander programs. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 3 Nov. 2023 For finance, that means allocating budgets to marketing efforts and technology investments that prioritize first-party data. 2. Cory Munchbach, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'allocate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of allocate was in 1616

Dictionary Entries Near allocate

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


al·​lo·​cate ˈal-ə-ˌkāt How to pronounce allocate (audio)
allocated; allocating
: to divide and distribute for a special reason or to particular persons or things
allocate funds among charities
: to set apart for a particular purpose
allocate materials for a project
allocation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on allocate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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