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

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Other Words from appropriate

Adjective

appropriately adverb
appropriateness noun

Verb

appropriable \ -​prē-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce appropriable (audio) \ adjective
appropriator \ -​prē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce appropriator (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.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The website lets parents choose from three different age groups in an effort to only surface content that's appropriate for their child's age. Kaya Yurieff, CNN, "Google reportedly agrees to pay at least $150 million to settle FTC probe into YouTube," 30 Aug. 2019 Videos targeting children have been particularly problematic, partly because YouTube doesn’t manually review all clips and its software can’t easily identify what content is appropriate for young viewers. Los Angeles Times, "YouTube, under fire for inappropriate videos, builds a new website for children," 28 Aug. 2019 Videos targeting children have been particularly problematic, partly because YouTube doesn’t manually review all clips and its software can’t easily identify what content is appropriate for young viewers. Fortune, "YouTube, Long Criticized for Showing Kids Inappropriate Videos, Will Launch a Children’s Site," 28 Aug. 2019 Her doctor or religious adviser can suggest one that would be appropriate for her. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive.com, "Dear Abby: As baby time nears, formerly encouraging friends now sharing the tribulations of motherhood," 27 Aug. 2019 Her doctor or religious adviser can suggest one that would be appropriate for her. Abigail Van Buren, Twin Cities, "Dear Abby: Single mother by choice wants positive support from friends," 27 Aug. 2019 Skip to main content A Lowe's executive is facing criticism over comments about some tools being more appropriate for Hispanic builders and installers. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Lowe's executive facing criticism after saying a drill was 'perfect' for Hispanics," 27 Aug. 2019 If not, what other venue would be more appropriate? Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Young mom wants to repair fractured family," 25 Aug. 2019 The world is not a passive matter waiting to be imprinted by whatever the U.S. determines to be appropriate for mankind. Jakub Grygiel, National Review, "The Role of Values in Foreign Policy," 21 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

During the past several decades the word has been appropriated to describe a type of online content that is usually visual and takes on a particular aesthetic design, combining colorful, striking images with block text. Claire Wardle, Scientific American, "Misinformation Has Created a New World Disorder," 20 Aug. 2019 The ballroom community is one that for decades has been appropriated, with very little acknowledgment of their contribution to pop culture. Meredith Blakestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "How ‘Pose’ perfectly re-creates the queer ball culture of 1990 New York," 2 Aug. 2019 The rest, to be covered by other city bureaus, has not been appropriated. oregonlive.com, "Portland faces lawsuit over sewer utility spending," 15 July 2019 In the 22 years since the city was handed back to China from the British, Hong Kong’s vibrant film industry has already been appropriated. G. Allen Johnson, SFChronicle.com, "SFFilm’s Hong Kong Cinema Now kicks off three-day event," 10 July 2019 His diatribe was targeted at Muslim members in the Indian parliament who swore allegiance to the Indian constitution but refused to recite the chant, which has recently been appropriated by the Hindu right wing. Rana Ayyub, Time, "What a Rising Tide of Violence Against Muslims in India Says About Modi's Second Term," 28 June 2019 The money cannot be used for anything other than what it has been appropriated for. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "What Should Democrats Do to Help Children at the Border?," 26 June 2019 This is especially troubling in an era in which more than half of every dollar Congress appropriates is spent on defense. Colin Barrett, Harper's magazine, "Letters," 22 July 2019 Governors here can strike out words and numbers, allowing them to structure parts of the state's spending plans in ways lawmakers never intended and are able to strike individual words and numbers from legislation that appropriates money. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "GOP lawmakers spark new clash over Tony Evers' authority with constitutional amendment to limit veto power," 9 July 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for appropriate

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for appropriate

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

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More Definitions for appropriate

appropriate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of appropriate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: right or suited for some purpose or situation

appropriate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of appropriate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to get or save (money) for a specific use or purpose
: to take or use (something) especially in a way that is illegal, unfair, etc.

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 appropriation (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for appropriate

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

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Comments on appropriate

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