appropriate

adjective
ap·pro·pri·ate | \ ə-ˈprō-prē-ət \

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 \
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 \ adjective
appropriator \-prē-ˌā-tər \ 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

Here’s my favorite joke ever, appropriate for all ages and all situations. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "Learning to Be Funny," 9 July 2018 Bloomberg makes no representation that materials in this site are appropriate or available for use in other locations. Bloomberg, "Terms of Service," 8 July 2018 With summer officially here, the time is now to switch to a face wash that’s appropriate for heat, humidity, and sun. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Best Face Washes to Swap Into Your Morning Routine," 28 June 2018 Whether this classification is appropriate can be debated: NFL teams operate throughout the year and between tryouts, practices, games and various public appearances, cheerleaders are engaged in many months of work. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "NFL Teams Previously Have Settled in Cheerleader Lawsuits. Will Texans' Ex-Cheerleaders Set Different Precedent?," 25 June 2018 Opting not to decide what's appropriate is a decision in and of itself, and Valve will rightly bear the consequences of that decision. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Op-ed: Valve takes a side by not “taking sides” in curation controversy," 7 June 2018 Clegg thinks a project that mixes commercial and residential uses would be appropriate. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "A 60-year-old fuel terminal could leave Boise’s Bench. Here’s what could replace it.," 11 July 2018 Image By the end of the day, a stiff drink seemed more appropriate than another serving of strawberries and cream. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "On a Wild Day at Wimbledon, Federer Exits and Nadal Hangs On," 11 July 2018 However, good eye contact and a warm smile is always appropriate. Betsy Cribb, Southern Living, "The Proper Way to Teach Kids to Introduce Themselves, According to an Etiquette Expert," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If schools received no additional funding beyond what was appropriated in the biennial budget, school would lose an average of $21 per student this year and $55 next year. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Lawmaker backs off promise to fully fund Indiana schools as budget gap grows," 12 Feb. 2018 Congress is required to appropriate the funds needed to build the wall, but CNN reported in March that Trump had also privately suggested that the wall be built with funds from the US military budget. Sophie Tatum, CNN, "Bannon predicts government shutdown over border wall," 1 June 2018 Instead of losing participatory consciousness, fans remade it, appropriating what could have been taken from them to do so. Nancy Baym, WIRED, "Book Excerpt: How Music Fans Built the Internet," 10 July 2018 This is distinct from the debate over ObamaCare’s cost-sharing payments, which the Trump Administration cut off last year after a federal judge barred the subsidies that Congress had not appropriated. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Health Insurers Squawk," 10 July 2018 Batum has already endorsed that idea on Twitter: Friday, Batum praised Monk for his 23-point summer-league performance, and a fan suggested in reply that Monk will be appropriating Batum’s minutes. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Why Charlotte Hornets' roster 'clutter' could be bad news for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist," 7 July 2018 Proposal included in the state budget signed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown with $60 million appropriated this year. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Here are the 16 health care bills proposed after California shelved single-payer," 6 July 2018 Until a few decades ago, scientists believed humans were the only species that appropriated stones into tools. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Panama monkeys may have begun their own Stone Age, scientists say," 4 July 2018 Last year’s decision to add Hebron as a Palestinian heritage site outraged Israelis, who said Jewish national symbols were being appropriated. Elaine Ganley, The Seattle Times, "Israeli envoy wants to rethink withdrawal from UN agency," 26 June 2018

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

Adjective

see appropriate entry 2

Verb

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

Transitive verb

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

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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

verb

English Language Learners Definition of appropriate

 (Entry 1 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

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

: right or suited for some purpose or situation

appropriate

adjective
ap·pro·pri·ate | \ ə-ˈprō-prē-ət \

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.
appropriateness noun

appropriate

verb
ap·pro·pri·ate | \ ə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt \
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 \
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 \ noun

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Comments on appropriate

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