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 appropriable (audio) \ adjective
appropriator \ ə-​ˈprō-​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 tissues that help skin to match its body position, giving it features like sweat glands and hair as appropriate, lie deeper than many grafts. Amber Dance, Smithsonian Magazine, "Some Salamanders Can Regrow Lost Body Parts. Could Humans One Day Do the Same?," 31 Jan. 2020 While seasonally appropriate, these are unfortunately hard to find because the village is tiny and the wines are not as sought after as those from other Beaujolais villages. Washington Post, "How to pick a Valentine’s Day wine that’s as romantic as your mood," 31 Jan. 2020 Many people may call themselves therapists or counselors but not have the appropriate training or licensing. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "Does Online Therapy Actually Work? Doctors Weigh In," 30 Jan. 2020 That study, published in 2016 in the journal Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, indicated that the mobility program was safe and appropriate for follow-up testing. Popular Science, "Working out in the ICU could help patients in the long run," 28 Jan. 2020 Were the unpleasant experiences of movie stars an appropriate subject? Anne Diebel, The New York Review of Books, "The Good Guy," 28 Jan. 2020 There needs to be a process to ensure that those red flags are raised to an appropriate level of seniority and adjudicated transparently and consistently. Zvika Krieger, Wired, "A Practical Guide for Building Ethical Tech," 20 Jan. 2020 Have the form 4 signed by appropriate local law enforcement agency. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Why Every Hunter and Recreational Shooter Should Own a Suppressor," 9 Jan. 2020 Then work turned to actively matching some patients to those resources, where appropriate. The Christian Science Monitor, "Thanks for all the sunny days," 9 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The legislature appropriated $39 million for the agency to implement the law, which included six permanent and 37 temporary positions. oregonlive, "Oregon pension reforms lower costs, but stretch agency thin," 1 Feb. 2020 Congress had appropriated $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine to be administered by the Defense and State departments. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "Trump administration acknowledges emails show Trump's thinking on Ukraine aid at center of impeachment," 1 Feb. 2020 While the Pentagon has committed to upgrading the jets, Congress must still appropriate the estimated $12-40 billion to do so. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The F-35 Is Still Full of Must-Fix Flaws," 31 Jan. 2020 Time and time again, fashion designers have appropriated black hairstyles, often putting them on white models, without understanding the culture and history that is associated with them. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "8 Times Fashion Designers Have Appropriated Black Hairstyles at Fashion Week," 23 Jan. 2020 Congress appropriated about $400 million for Ukraine to provide aid, equipment and support to the military amid its war with pro-Russian separatists. NBC News, "Fact-checking Trump's defense: 'They got their money'," 22 Jan. 2020 The tech giants have long appropriated features and products from competitors. Louise Matsakis, Wired, "PopSockets Asks Congress to Rein in Big Tech," 17 Jan. 2020 Congress had already appropriated $250 million to the Department of Defense for security assistance to Ukraine for fiscal year 2019. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "White House broke the law by withholding Ukraine aid, Government Accountability Office says," 16 Jan. 2020 Last month, Congress appropriated $5.1 billion for three Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, which Collins says will support jobs in the defense industry, including Bath Iron Works, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and Pratt & Whitney. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "What next? Awaiting Trump’s response to Iranian missile attack on US bases in Iraq," 8 Jan. 2020

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

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Appropriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/appropriate. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for appropriate

appropriate

adjective
How to pronounce appropriate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of appropriate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: right or suited for some purpose or situation

appropriate

verb
How to pronounce appropriate (audio)

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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