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

Form Beauty launched in 2017 and encourages women to take an online survey to personalize an appropriate combination of hair products for them. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Procter & Gamble has acquired the startup aiming to build the Procter & Gamble for people of color," 12 Dec. 2018 Organic shapes and neutral colors lend everything a warm, personal touch, while matte-gold flatware adds an appropriate dose of festivity. ELLE Decor, "This Holiday Party Is Anything But Traditional—And We're Obsessed," 30 Nov. 2018 Tap it and you’ll instantly be whisked away to the appropriate screen. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Android 9 Pie is here: What's new, what's awesome, and how to get it now," 6 Aug. 2018 Albanese pulled together an eclectic mix of vintage and custom furniture with layered textures and materials, imparting a sense of sophisticated youthfulness that is equally kid-appropriate and a playful backdrop for adults. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Vivacious Canadian Lake House With a Joyful Sense of Irreverence," 24 Dec. 2018 Such comments signaled that fashion’s elite thought Obama, raised working class on Chicago’s South Side, simply didn’t understand what was appropriate attire. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "“Now, I’m free to do whatever”: Michelle Obama explains her $3,900 Balenciaga boots," 20 Dec. 2018 This remedy is not appropriate if the person has trouble breathing. Joe Graedonteresa Graedon, The Seattle Times, "Food go down the wrong tube? Try sipping cola," 28 Nov. 2018 Two-thirds of individuals with metastatic cancer and more than half of those being treated for cancer report experiencing chronic pain, and 1 in 3 cancer patients do not receive medication appropriate for the intensity of their pain. Kathleen Hoffman, STAT, "Opioid stigma is keeping many cancer patients from getting the pain control they need," 6 July 2018 And lingerie is never appropriate as a gift on a first date. A.a. Gill, A-LIST, "Fraught, But It Counts," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But that 2019 budget request submitted in February was roundly rejected by Congress, which appropriated funding for alternative energy research above the level the Trump administration requested. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: White House seeking more clean energy cuts despite congressional opposition," 27 June 2018 In 1985, the Legislature appropriated $9.5 million for the design and initial site preparation on the 300 acres at 43rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "Barbara Ridge, who dreamed up ASU West campus, dies at 78," 8 June 2018 In fiscal 2017, Congress appropriated $286.5 million in Title X grants, much of it to Planned Parenthood affiliates. NBC News, "Trump targets Planned Parenthood, family planning services with new abortion rule," 18 May 2018 In 2013, the Texas legislature appropriated $15 million to the Spaceport Trust Fund. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Will Uncle Sam Shower Some Love on Spaceports?," 7 May 2018 Last month, as part of the fiscal year 2018 budget deal, Congress appropriated $350 million for a new piece of hardware—a mobile launch tower to be built at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA may fly crew into deep space sooner, but there’s a price," 13 Apr. 2018 There are no state appropriated funds involved in this transaction. BostonGlobe.com, "Read the full statement from UMass’s president on Mount Ida College," 12 Apr. 2018 Military personnel will not be paid until Congress appropriates funds to do so. Leada Gore, AL.com, "Pentagon issues shutdown guidance: Commissaries will close, schools will remain open," 19 Jan. 2018 Generally, Congress appropriates money for specific projects. Dara Lind, Vox, "Slats, fences, and wall, explained: what exactly the shutdown fight is about," 21 Dec. 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

Verb and Adjective

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

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Last Updated

22 Jan 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

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

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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to gather or build up little by little

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