appropriate

adjective
ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ ə-ˈprō-prē-ət How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \

Definition of appropriate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: especially suitable or compatible : fitting an appropriate response remarks appropriate to the occasion

appropriate

verb
ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ ə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \
appropriated; appropriating

Definition of appropriate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to take exclusive possession of : annex No one should appropriate a common benefit.
2 : to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use appropriate money for a research program
3 : to take or make use of without authority or right natural habitats that have been appropriated for human use

Other Words from appropriate

Adjective

appropriately adverb
appropriateness noun

Verb

appropriable \ ə-​ˈprō-​prē-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \ adjective
appropriator \ ə-​ˈprō-​prē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for appropriate

Adjective

fit, suitable, meet, proper, appropriate, fitting, apt, happy, felicitous mean right with respect to some end, need, use, or circumstance. fit stresses adaptability and sometimes special readiness for use or action. fit for battle suitable implies an answering to requirements or demands. clothes suitable for camping meet suggests a just proportioning. meet payment proper suggests a suitability through essential nature or accordance with custom. proper acknowledgement appropriate implies eminent or distinctive fitness. an appropriate gift fitting implies harmony of mood or tone. a fitting end apt connotes a fitness marked by nicety and discrimination. apt quotations happy suggests what is effectively or successfully appropriate. a happy choice of words felicitous suggests an aptness that is opportune, telling, or graceful. a felicitous phrase

Did you know?

From its roots, the verb appropriate would mean basically "make one's own"—that is, "take", or sometimes "grab". Each year the President and Congress create a budget and appropriate funds for each item in it, funds which mostly come in the form of taxes from the public. In the House of Representatives, the powerful Appropriations Committee often gets the last word on how much money goes to each program. "Misappropriation of funds", on the other hand, is a nice way of saying "theft". If someone appropriated pieces of your novel, you might take him or her to court; and if you appropriated trade secrets from your former employers, you might be the one sued.

Examples of appropriate in a Sentence

Adjective More than almost anyone writing today, Slater, whose prose is astringent and sensuous by turn, reflects both a genuine feeling for and appreciation of foods appropriate to the season—and a tolerance for kitchen disasters. — Cynthia Zarin, Gourmet, April 2007 Crepuscular means "pertaining to twilight." It sounds so lovely. I use the word as much as possible, even when it's not appropriate. — Bob Berman, Astronomy, June 2006 While working as one of the exhibition curators, I was surprised to learn that, until the 1920s, ice cream was properly eaten with a fork, a cumbersome technique decried by none other than Florence Howe hall, the granddaughter of Julia Ward Howe, who wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". But if high society eventually agreed on a more appropriate utensil for eating the frozen-dessert, even the most au courant hostess may have had trouble deciding what kind of device should be used for serving it … — Darra Goldstein, Saveur, June-July 2006 Three days. There was no way on this earth that proper due diligence could be done in such a limited time. For a merger of this magnitude, a week's worth of due diligence would have been more appropriate. — Nina Munk, Vanity Fair, January 2004 Red wine would have been a more appropriate choice with the meal. The movie is perfectly appropriate to people of all ages. Verb From this source it was appropriated by Wilhelm Ropke in his effort to develop a social and political theory in which the market economy would be reconciled with the local community. — Roger Scruton, National Review, 20 June 2005 Dr. Seuss's mother, also the daughter of German immigrants, was Henrietta Seuss, and when he appropriated the name for his books Dr. Seuss pronounced it in the German manner, "soice," until he realized that Americans naturally read the name as "soose," and that the American pronunciation of "Dr. Seuss" evoked a figure advantageous for an author of children's books to be associated with—Mother Goose. — Louis Menand, New Yorker, 23 & 30 Dec. 2002 Wales, in contrast, was officially appropriated into the United Kingdom by Henry VIII's Acts of Union, in 1536 and 1543, before it had developed the apparatus of a modern state. — Pamela Petro, Atlantic, April 1999 The town has appropriated funds to repair the bridge and work should begin this summer. The economy has been weakened by corrupt officials who have appropriated the country's resources for their own use. Elements of the design were appropriated from other architects. The term “bad” has been appropriated by teenagers as a synonym for “good.” See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective These in-the-moment prompts can help interrupt the System 1 automatic response and lead to more thoughtful, accurate and appropriate System 2 responses. Perry Carpenter, Forbes, 24 June 2022 This move is never appropriate for some people and not a sure thing for anyone. Laura Saunders, WSJ, 24 June 2022 According to the Ohio Department of Health, a local health commissioner contacted a state health department staffer with questions about it, triggering the investigation into whether it the newsletter topics were properly vetted and appropriate. Brittany Shammas, Washington Post, 23 June 2022 From eye pencils to shimmering body highlighters, the brand has cemented itself as a no-rules, color-passionate destination to create bold, rave-appropriate looks. ELLE, 15 June 2022 But though pious and appropriate—if a writer’s publisher does not defend his humanity, who will?—the statement is not true. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 15 June 2022 The slim, black aluminum frames are contextually appropriate and approved by most historic commissions. Jon Gorey, BostonGlobe.com, 12 June 2022 This exhibition is free, open to the public, and appropriate for all ages. cleveland, 10 June 2022 Many of the tick-borne diseases can be treated with quick and appropriate medical care. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 31 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Congress seems willing to appropriate money for everything else, and Social Security will likely continue to be the untouchable third rail. WSJ, 16 June 2022 But House Speaker Ronald Mariano suggested lawmakers could appropriate roughly half of it now, with areas such as housing seeing a significant infusion, according to legislative officials. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Oct. 2021 Mounting unspent Covid relief dollars is one of the key reasons Republicans in Congress cite as a reason to oppose Democrats' efforts to appropriate billions more federal dollars for managing the pandemic. Eliza Mackintosh And Hafsa Khalil, CNN, 18 May 2022 Russia has not been informed of any plans to appropriate its assets, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday, according to Reuters. Amy Cheng, Washington Post, 18 May 2022 On each, the plan makes clear that Congress will need to appropriate more money to the cause. Tal Kopan, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Mar. 2022 The House and Senate approved identical bills this morning, wrapping up a five-day special session called to appropriate the money. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, 27 Jan. 2022 Legislative leaders left without any agreement to appropriate more money, according to a person who is familiar with the closed door talks but was not authorized to speak publicly about them. Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times, 5 July 2021 Congress that year did not appropriate the full amount needed. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appropriate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of appropriate

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for appropriate

Verb and Adjective

Middle English, from Late Latin appropriatus, past participle of appropriare, from Latin ad- + proprius own

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Time Traveler for appropriate

Time Traveler

The first known use of appropriate was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near appropriate

appropinquity

appropriate

appropriate technology

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Statistics for appropriate

Last Updated

1 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Appropriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/appropriate. Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for appropriate

appropriate

adjective
ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ ə-ˈprō-prē-ət How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \

Kids Definition of appropriate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: especially fitting or suitable The movie is appropriate for small children.

Other Words from appropriate

appropriately adverb We dressed appropriately for the occasion.

appropriate

verb
ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ ə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \
appropriated; appropriating

Kids Definition of appropriate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to take possession of especially in an illegal or unfair way
2 : to set apart for a certain purpose or use The school appropriated funds for new books.

appropriate

transitive verb
ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ ə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \
appropriated; appropriating

Legal Definition of appropriate

1 : to set apart for or assign to a particular recipient, purpose, or use the legislature appropriating funds for the program
2 : to take or make use of without authority or right

Other Words from appropriate

appropriation \ ə-​ˌprō-​prē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for appropriate

Late Latin appropriare to take possession of, from ad to, for + proprius one's own

More from Merriam-Webster on appropriate

Nglish: Translation of appropriate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of appropriate for Arabic Speakers

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