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

While Sonder does have a team of in-house designers, the synergy of their partnership with the Novogratz team was only appropriate for such a unique project. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Three San Diego Bungalows Are Transformed Into Vibrant, History-Filled Getaways," 3 Oct. 2018 The sets that serve as the home of Adora Crellin (Patricia Clarkson), mother to crime reporter Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) are incredibly convincing—not to mention era-appropriate. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "See the Victorian Mansion-Inspired Sets Where 'Sharp Objects' Was Filmed," 5 Aug. 2018 The show is located in Central Park and is appropriate for all ages. Nedra Rhone, ajc, "Things to do in and around Atlanta on Wednesday, July 11," 11 July 2018 The atmosphere and stage provided by the NFL venue on Saturday were appropriate for the first match of what should be a compelling regional rivalry for when the teams meet again this season, and down the road at the Major League Soccer level. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati, Nashville SC play to scoreless tie in first-ever meeting," 7 July 2018 Shoes should be appropriate for the terrain and sunscreen should be used and packed. J. Harry Jones, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Popular trails closed due to heat concerns," 5 July 2018 An online quiz that posed questions about dating do's and don'ts, taking a serious look at what constitutes appropriate dating behaviors. Stacy Sullivan, azcentral, "High school graduates of azcentral's media innovation camp imagine future of news," 3 July 2018 Forums are appropriate for the interested beginner, intermediate or expert collector. Courant Community, "Community News For The Colchester Edition," 19 June 2018 The program is appropriate for students who will study communications, English, education, history and psychology, school officials said. Staff Report, Aurora Beacon-News, "Waubonsee offers one-year program to get degree," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As Amy Harmon reported for the New York Times, white supremacists have lately been distorting and appropriating genetic science for bizarre, self-aggrandizing ends. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Watch: Stephen Colbert skewers white supremacists’ weird obsession with chugging milk," 19 Oct. 2018 To some, the iconography will recall Abell’s now-iconic Marlboro adverts, famous for being appropriated by the artist Richard Prince. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The American West Has Never Looked Better Than in Acne Studios’s New Images of Cindy Crawford," 25 Sep. 2018 As with virtually all post-hurricane disaster relief in Puerto Rico, the work is contracted and paid for by bankrupt local agencies using money disbursed by FEMA from billions appropriated by Congress. Michael Weissenstein And Danica Coto, Fox News, "Turmoil slows rebuilding of Puerto Rico's power grid," 19 July 2018 Money available for that program is appropriated by the state Legislature, and the grant program is competitive. Eric Barker, The Seattle Times, "Couples win bid for chunk of the Palouse," 10 June 2018 The government will spend about $4.1 trillion this year, and roughly 30 percent of that is appropriated each year by Congress. Anchorage Daily News, "Massive confusion spreads through federal bureaucracy ahead of shutdown deadline," 20 Jan. 2018 The government will spend about $4.1 trillion this year, and roughly 30 percent of that is appropriated each year by Congress. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Federal government shutdown: What's still open? What's closing? Who knows?," 19 Jan. 2018 Last year, a Toronto gallery canceled a show by the white artist Amanda PL after complaints that her brightly colored works appropriated the style of an Anishinaabe artist. Dan Bilefsky, New York Times, "Protests Shutter a Show That Cast White Singers as Black Slaves," 4 July 2018 Those on the receiving end of criticism that they’ve culturally appropriated will be less likely to ever engage with communities they were not born into. Connie Wang, refinery29.com, "I’ve Written About Cultural Appropriation For 10 Years. Here’s What I Got Wrong.," 24 May 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

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Last Updated

12 Nov 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

History and Etymology for appropriate

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

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