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 If the referendum doesn't pass in every municipality, the fire board would have to discuss how to allocate the funds coming from municipalities. Drew Dawson, Journal Sentinel, 27 July 2022 In her testimony, Howard urged Congress to allocate more funds for protecting election officials and to direct federal agencies to focus on the issue and combat misinformation about election integrity in any way possible. Wired, 22 July 2022 The count is used to allocate funds to federal programs. Miriam Jordan,, 20 July 2022 But by the mid-1970s, the Rose Garden had fallen into disrepair, and the City of Hartford could not allocate funds to sustain it. Stephen Underwood, Hartford Courant, 14 July 2022 The trio met with then-commissioner David Stern, who declined to allocate funds from All-Star weekend to the prospective organization. Cydney Henderson, The Enquirer, 10 July 2022 The trio met with then-commissioner David Stern, who declined to allocate funds from All-Star weekend to the prospective organization. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, 9 July 2022 The Will County Board’s Executive Committee voted Thursday to allocate federal pandemic relief funds to park districts, municipal parks departments, special recreation associations, library districts and public safety entities. Michelle Mullins, Chicago Tribune, 7 July 2022 Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne amended the budgets to re-allocate funds for sheriff's deputies to the Block by Block program, which staffs unarmed security ambassadors who provide the city with supplemental law enforcement services. Fox News, 28 June 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

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Time Traveler for allocate

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The first known use of allocate was in 1616

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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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


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