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 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?
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Recent Examples on the Web Shimron has advised clients who are more conservative with their investments to allocate between 2% to 5% of their portfolio in crypto, with 80% of that toward bitcoin and 20% toward Ethereum. USA Today, "Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg and Mark Cuban love Dogecoin. Should you? How to stay safe when investing in cryptocurrency," 9 May 2021 This document spells out your portfolio’s objectives and how the adviser will allocate your assets to achieve them. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "Want to Get Rich Quick? Who Can Stop You?," 7 May 2021 It's widely known that big tech companies allocate a percentage of their brilliant employees' time to pursue other projects, keeping the culture of experimentation and innovation very much alive. Joanna Swash, Forbes, "Better, Faster: How To Build An Agile Business," 7 May 2021 Global capital markets need high-quality, consistent, and comparable sustainability information to understand drivers of risk and return, allocate capital efficiently, and finance the transition to a more resilient, low-carbon economy. Punit Renjen, Fortune, "Sustainability must be measured—or claims of greenwashing will be hard to dispel," 7 May 2021 The longest partial government shutdown in US history begins after Trump demands lawmakers allocate $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall before agreeing to sign a federal funding package. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Donald Trump Fast Facts," 5 May 2021 Eight Democratic senators and 35 House Democrats want the plan to include $700 billion—more than Biden will reportedly allocate—to get closer to their goal of universal childcare. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "On Biden’s American Families Plan and Resisting the Conservative Politics of Care," 28 Apr. 2021 Bannon also reminds anglers or concerned citizens that the Gulf Council meetings always allocate a time for public comment on Wednesdays, which will be from 1-4:30 p.m. on April 14 for the next meeting. Frank Sargeant, al, "Red snapper allowance could be reduced despite abundance of fish," 11 Apr. 2021 Sprague was recognized for his work to allocate a significant portion of the state’s remaining federal CARES Act dollars to create small business grants. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "JobsOhio launching venture capital program: Capitol Letter," 31 Mar. 2021

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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Allocate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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.

Comments on allocate

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