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 \ ˈa-​lə-​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 offer would also allocate $300 billion to state and local governments and enough funds to increase the $1,200 stimulus payments with an extra $1,000 per child. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "Senate Republicans Denounce White House’s Offer for Coronavirus Relief," 10 Oct. 2020 Earlier this year, Congress did allocate $3.5 billion in emergency funds for childcare centers, as part of the sweeping CARES Act, the economic stimulus bill passed in late March. Fortune, "What working parents need from the 2020 election," 30 Sep. 2020 But regulators allocate operational time among electricity plants to match generation to demand, with little consideration of economic or environmental implications, Li says. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Can China, the world's bigger coal consumer, become carbon neutral by 2060?," 29 Sep. 2020 The school decided to, at least for the opener, allocate the majority of the general admission tickets to the student body to give them something to look forward to during an abnormal fall semester. Tom Green |, al, "How Auburn plans to adapt to ‘new normal’ of limited crowds, piped-in noise on gamedays," 24 Sep. 2020 That would allow the team to allocate a roster spot for depth at another position. Daniel Oyefusi,, "Three years after making team as undrafted rookie, Ravens’ Patrick Ricard prepares for expanded role on offense | NOTES," 4 Sep. 2020 Cooper last June vetoed North Carolina's biennium budget, causing the General Assembly to allocate one-time expenses through piece-meal legislation, while recurring costs were funded at previous levels. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, "Cooper plans to spend $457M unbudgeted funds, expand Medicaid," 27 Aug. 2020 Tim Edwards, president of the union representing 7,000 Cal Fire firefighters, said lawmakers need to allocate more money at a time when firefighters are working 40 to 50 days at a time without real relief. The Salt Lake Tribune, "At least 1 resident killed in Northern California wildfire," 21 Aug. 2020 Of the $105 billion for education, Republicans want $70 billion to help K-12 schools reopen, $30 billion for colleges and $5 billion for governors to allocate. Andrew Taylor, The Denver Post, "White House drops payroll tax cut after GOP allies object," 23 July 2020

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

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

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Time Traveler for allocate

Time Traveler

The first known use of allocate was in 1616

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Statistics for allocate

Last Updated

27 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for allocate


How to pronounce allocate (audio)

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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