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

Shatynski avoids using pesticides; if a plant is too susceptible to pests, it is removed and replaced with a more appropriate choice. Dawn Standke, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Tally up your garden’s earth friendliness," 12 July 2018 The Ofo bikes are generally easy to move as the front wheels are unlocked, allowing anyone to pick up the back of it and wheel it to a more appropriate location. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Phoenix and Scottsdale move to regulate bike-sharing," 7 July 2018 Lyrically, there may not be a more perfectly appropriate anthem for Summerfest. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 10: Kip Moore, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Phantogram & more," 7 July 2018 However, Mourinho's criticism actually looks far more appropriate now, after Caballero tried unsuccessfully to chip the ball over Croatia wide man Rebić - who promptly fired an unstoppable volley past him. SI.com, "José Mourinho Slams Argentina Keeper Before Disastrous Error Against Croatia," 22 June 2018 And though a collector’s first instinct typically is to grumble (Why didn’t such-and-such make the cut?), a more appropriate response in this case is gratitude. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "‘Debussy: His First Performers’ Review: Rare Restoration," 19 June 2018 The Pruitt scandals range from the seriously unethical to the truly bizarre — episodes that would in fact seem more appropriate on SNL than on CNN. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "Not caring about Pruitt's EPA scandals helps us not care that the planet is on fire | Will Bunch," 19 June 2018 All the more appropriate, her duet partner is another former Disney pop gal, Demi Lovato. Jeff Benjamin, Billboard, "Christina Aguilera's 10 Most Revealing Lyrics From 'Liberation'," 15 June 2018 But this time, the questions that resulted weren’t only how the war could have transpired differently; now there were new questions about how humans might have behaved in more morally appropriate ways in the past. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "What if Napoleon Hadn’t Lost Europe and Other Questions of Alternate History," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then new Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released another $4 million that had been appropriated by Congress but not released. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Feds broke promises to NC county for 75 years. A big bank deposit changed all that.," 3 July 2018 Conservatives have staked a louder claim to the term; some say patriotism has been appropriated by Southern white men. Doug Struck, The Christian Science Monitor, "As Americans celebrate Independence Day, what does it mean to be a patriot?," 2 July 2018 Kid Fury and Todrick Hall bickering about white female pop stars using all the Black gay colloquialisms that have yet to be appropriated by said white women was gold. refinery29.com, "Why This Dear White People Lesbian Narrative Is So Important," 8 May 2018 If Congress does not fully fund it this year, Alabama lawmakers would have to appropriate about $53 million in state funds to sustain the program. AL.com, "10 issues to watch during 2018 Alabama legislative session," 9 Jan. 2018 Border security: The compromise bill appropriates $25 billion in advance for border security funding for the wall, access and roads, and also includes the addition of a biometric entry-exist system. CBS News, "House vote on "compromise" immigration bill delayed until next week," 21 June 2018 Others were quick to point out that the qipao, as it is known in China, was introduced by the Manchus, an ethnic minority group from China’s northeast — implying that the garment was itself appropriated by the majority Han Chinese. Amy Qin, New York Times, "Teenager’s Prom Dress Stirs Furor in U.S. — but Not in China," 2 May 2018 Through thick and thin, the dividend program worked swimmingly until 2016, when Gov. Bill Walker vetoed $696 million of the $1.4 billion appropriated by the Legislature for dividends. Paul Jenkins, Anchorage Daily News, "Don’t enshrine Alaska’s PFD in the constitution," 13 Jan. 2018 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

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

1 Oct 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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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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