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

Example Sentences

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 After setting aside a percentage for goals such as buying a car, allocate 10% to 20% to investments. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 19 Jan. 2023 Then for employee engagement and to build company culture among remote workers, leaders could allocate optional time aside for casual conversation. Orianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 10 Jan. 2023 And then in 2024, lawmakers would allocate another $190 million - $150 million for AHEART and $40 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, a separate pot of money to address more long-term projects. The Courier-Journal, 23 Dec. 2022 The bipartisan legislation would allocate $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs and $858 billion in defense funding, according to the bill's summary. Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY, 22 Dec. 2022 In return, Globalstar will allocate 85% of its current and future network to Cupertino. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 14 Dec. 2022 State lawmakers must first allocate money to UDOT before land agreements can be made. Jacob Scholl, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Nov. 2022 Other sections of the bill allocate funds for agriculture research, conservation efforts, drought and disaster assistance, and improving broadband access. Alex Thomas, Arkansas Online, 28 Nov. 2022 Eversource will allocate $10 million for low- and moderate-income customers who need help paying their bills while UI will give $3 million to Operation Fuel, which provides energy assistance to people in need. Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, 28 Nov. 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.

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 27 Jan. 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

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