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 \ 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.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Prosecutor Steve Schleicher then pressed Pleoger on whether Chauvin's force was appropriate. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Minneapolis police lieutenant: Derek Chauvin's knee on George Floyd's neck was 'totally unnecessary'," 2 Apr. 2021 The closure is appropriate because the state should be getting a huge boost in vaccine supply soon, according to FEMA. Meghan Bobrowsky, San Francisco Chronicle, "FEMA rejects county plea to keep Oakland Coliseum vaccination site open past April 11," 2 Apr. 2021 Mann is asking what additional enforcement or education may be appropriate to minimize the risk that the Dora will become a major source of new COVID-19 cases. Hannah K. Sparling, The Enquirer, "Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine: Dora crowds at The Banks ‘troubling’," 1 Apr. 2021 Mann is asking what additional enforcement or education may be appropriate to minimize the risk that the Dora district will become a major source of new coronavirus cases. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Chef initiative, ice fishing trash, Tribeca plans: News from around our 50 states," 31 Mar. 2021 For many new shooters, the simple fear of not knowing what is appropriate on one of our ranges can be a barrier to them. Frank Sargeant, al, "Alabama Bass Trail winners at Lake Eufaula score $17,000 win," 31 Mar. 2021 The woman urged more stringent steps be taken due to her safety concerns, such as a criminal no contact order, but in May the school wrote back to her that such an order would not be appropriate. oregonlive, "Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to lead inquiry into OHSU’s handling of sexual harassment, discrimination complaints," 31 Mar. 2021 Your request to not be seen by someone who tested Covid-19 positive was not appropriate, as C.D.C. guidelines state that after 14 days of quarantine, individuals are safe to go out in public. New York Times, "A Hygenist Had Covid. Shouldn’t My Dentist Have Told Me?," 30 Mar. 2021 Summit County District Attorney Heidi McCollum declined to address the specifics of the case but said the charges and the possible restitution are appropriate. Fox News, "Colorado snowboarders face reckless endangerment charges after avalanche," 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The governor asked the state Legislature to appropriate the money from federal funds the state is receiving to cope with the COVID pandemic. David Fleshler, sun-sentinel.com, "Governor proposes $1,000 bonuses for Florida teachers laboring through pandemic," 31 Mar. 2021 The bill would also require the Office of Licensing to conduct four inspections each year — both announced and unannounced — and would appropriate $638,000 to fund eight new full-time state licensing employees to achieve that aim. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, "New regulations for the state’s ‘troubled teen’ industry win final legislative approval," 2 Mar. 2021 Noting the administration wants to appropriate $200 million for deploying broadband, Stivers said this would still leave the state $2.2 billion to spend, in addition the the hundreds of millions still available from the CARES Act last year. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "$2.4B from COVID-19 stimulus 'totally changes the dynamics' of Kentucky state budget," 10 Mar. 2021 Same goes for costumes that appropriate other cultures. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "Halloween costumes we won't miss this year amid the pandemic, protests for racial justice," 19 Oct. 2020 The bipartisan energy package passed as part of year-end spending legislation is proof of that (Congress still must appropriate funding for programs in that law, which is mostly focused on demonstration of clean technologies rather than R&D). Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy, Presented by AHRI: Biden innovation push could appeal to Republicans," 12 Feb. 2021 The answer involves the Doctrine of Discovery, a collection of edicts issued by the Church throughout the past thousand years that sent explorers around the world to appropriate land that was unoccupied by Christians. The New Yorker, "The Mail," 1 Mar. 2021 Local officials are pushing back, but authority rests with the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms, the Architect of the Capitol, and Congress, which would have to appropriate the funds. Washington Post, "How terrorists became the unspoken architects of the Capitol," 22 Feb. 2021 Beyond these, pop-inclined artistes have sought to appropriate different features of the great musician’s legacy. Garhe Osiebe, Quartz Africa, "Why it’s time to stop searching for Fela Kuti’s successor," 21 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for appropriate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for appropriate

Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Appropriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/appropriate. Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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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 appropriate (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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