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

Other Words from allocate

allocatable \ ˈa-​lə-​ˌkā-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce allocate (audio) \ adjective
allocation \ ˌa-​lə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce allocate (audio) \ noun
allocator \ ˈa-​lə-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce allocate (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?
Recent Examples on the Web But Villalba, who is no longer in the Legislature, blamed the low participation on the state’s decision not to allocate funding for the marshal program to help districts purchase the firearms or provide stipends to marshals. Kate Mcgee, Chron, 7 June 2022 Yes, there are numerous studies about the value of arts education for students, schools, families and communities, but principals often have difficult decisions to make in terms of how to allocate funding. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 June 2022 Cassidy is a co-sponsor of the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, a 2021 bill that would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allocate funding to support maternal health. Tat Bellamy-walker, NBC News, 23 May 2022 Several attendees during public comment urged council members to allocate funding for disability needs. Dana Afana, Detroit Free Press, 15 Apr. 2022 The institute has said the government didn’t allocate it enough funding to set up more polling stations. Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2022 The White House also believes the efforts could set the stage for Congress to allocate additional funding. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2022 The Treasury Department retained discretion to allocate more funding as needed, so some states were able to get all the money at once. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, 12 Mar. 2022 The students encouraged the state to look at the report, expand the inventory to include charters and private schools and to allocate funding to address the issues. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About allocate

Time Traveler for allocate

Time Traveler

The first known use of allocate was in 1616

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near allocate




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for allocate

Last Updated

18 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for allocate


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on allocate

Nglish: Translation of allocate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of allocate for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!