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 \ -​prē-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce appropriable (audio) \ adjective
appropriator \ -​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

My pick: Vico Magistretti Carimate chairs for Cassina, bought vintage from Chairish, $700 plus shipping Wallpaper appropriate for a bathroom with white beaded boarding and royal blue floor tile. Kelsey Keith, Curbed, "From NYC to DC, 14 years of apartments," 5 July 2019 Donald Trump’s New York origins are obvious in his voice, Barack Obama (a General American speaker) could turn on African-American where appropriate, George Bush’s Texan was key to his identity, as was Bill Clinton’s Arkansan. The Economist, "In British politics, posh pronunciation reigns," 4 July 2019 Thus, the focus on reducing emissions from electrical generation seems appropriate. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Analysis says we need to stop building fossil fuel plants now," 2 July 2019 Many times, private citizens and the press have questioned whether Trump's role in the White House is appropriate. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "The Meaning Behind the #UnwantedIvanka Meme," 2 July 2019 When asked if any consequences for the protesting students would be appropriate, Ambar appeared to side with those who protested against the bakery. Brian Pascus, CBS News, "Oberlin College president Carmen Twillie Ambar on the $44 million ruling against the school," 27 June 2019 Previous experiences help us gauge appropriate responses, so most people improve with age. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019 But with Steele and McCoy back in the conference, an update on the class of 2019 seems appropriate. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: With Bru McCoy and Chris Steele secure at USC, the Pac-12 recruiting haul gains luster," 19 June 2019 While some consider the book a children’s story and others adult story that involves a child, the play is intended to be appropriate for all ages. Paige Fumo Fox, Daily Southtown, "Puppets bring magical, whimsical tale of 'The Little Prince' to life in Beverly," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Jones said that each campus and department will be looked at individually to appropriate that money. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "House Bill 3 allows Crosby ISD to increase teacher pay, restore budgets after crisis," 27 June 2019 Pence said before blaming Democrats for failing to appropriate for funds. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Trump's defends conditions for detained migrant children, falsely says Obama started family separations," 23 June 2019 The president fought back at NASA’s behest, and Congress ultimately agreed to appropriate $900 million for the space station’s development. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "NASA Went to the Stock Exchange to Try to Sell the ISS," 7 June 2019 Memes are what inspired her jewelry line, which is meant to appropriate stereotypes about Asian Americans in a sarcastic way. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Ada Chen Is the Asian Artist Turning Stereotypes About Chinese Americans Into Jewelry," 27 May 2019 Snoop Dogg, Alfonso Ribeiro, Marlon Webb, and Donald Faison are cited in the lawsuit as other black artists whose dance moves have been appropriated for the game. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Rapper sues Epic Games over “unauthorized” Fortnite dance use," 6 Dec. 2018 However, there is concern that this ethic might get lost if hip-hop architecture is appropriated. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Can hip-hop make architecture more equitable?," 8 Oct. 2018 The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the governor violated his executive power by cutting universities' budgets after funding had already been appropriated by the General Assembly. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "Andy Beshear becomes first to announce run for Kentucky governor," 9 July 2018 For Swift, who has been unwillingly appropriated by some in the alt-right as a hero, having a Fourth of July party isn’t so innocent. refinery29.com, "What It Means If Taylor Swift Skips Another Fourth Of July Party," 3 July 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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Statistics for appropriate

Last Updated

9 Jul 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

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of appropriate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: right or suited for some purpose or situation

appropriate

verb

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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an act or instance of editing or removing

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