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

The board also had to reverse course so the Sheriff's Office could accept funding from the $67 million the state allocated to training and equipping guardians, going back on an April 10 vote against participating in the program. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "With little time and cash, Broward to hire armed guards instead of police at schools," 27 June 2018 There's also $695,000 allocated to the Department of Agriculture for four new staff positions to handle Louisiana's new medical marijuana program. Julia O'donoghue,, "Louisiana Senate passes budget with TOPS, health care money -- and more taxes," 3 June 2018 Those departments, which generate some of their own funds, have $5.54 billion allocated to them next fiscal year. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF’s budget soars by $937 million and will top $11 billion for first time," 30 May 2018 The homes are part of the 34-home Arbor Bend community slated for completion next year, with $724,000 of affordable housing funds allocated through the county. Mary Shanklin,, "Women builders, students work on Habitat for Humanity project," 30 Mar. 2018 Those also are the likely solutions to the looming funding crunch, with Republicans and Democrats differing on how to allocate the pain. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Reality check: Social Security will survive, but will it be enough?," 8 July 2018 My question is: What is the right amount to allocate to discretionary/fun spending? Michelle Singletary,, "What would she do in these financial conundrums?," 15 June 2018 Last year, the Hungarian government also announced plans to allocate about €4.5 million ($5.3 million) to build a new institute with a whole floor dedicated to TCM at Semmelweis University, one of the most prestigious medical schools in Hungary. Kata Karáth, Science | AAAS, "Hungarian scientists are on edge as country is poised to force out top university," 10 May 2018 The problem with that, replied Grace, is that removing the items the state considers unconstitutional — items limiting the Legislature's discretion to allocate fish habitat — would destroy the spirit of the measure. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Supreme Court weighs possibility of altering Yes for Salmon initiative before vote," 27 Apr. 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

18 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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