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

From there, Jones brilliantly ties together the history and nuance of camp, putting Erdem’s homage to Fanny and Stella in period-appropriate bonnets, and donning Oscar Wilde doppelgängers with little pink haircuts made of a variety of fabrics. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Master Milliner Stephen Jones Created Over-the-Top Toppers for “Camp: Notes on Fashion”," 9 May 2019 So, Gilbreath and her team could stick with the client's preferred palette of ocean-appropriate blues and teals. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Coastal Home Is a Lesson in How to Decorate an Open Concept Space," 3 May 2019 While the jumpsuit Sophie donned down the aisle is no longer available, the brand features a number of all-white styles on their site, which feel equally aisle-appropriate. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sophie Turner Wore a Jumpsuit for Her Las Vegas Wedding to Joe Jonas Last Night," 2 May 2019 The weather oscillates between beach- and brunch-appropriate. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "Barbie's 60th Birthday Wish Was to Be More Inclusive. Now What?," 2 May 2019 Kate just had her first solo outing with Queen Elizabeth in a perfect work-appropriate tweedy outfit. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Looks Ready to Go Camping in Her Beloved J. Crew Sweater and Chloe Boots," 28 Mar. 2019 When first built in 1965, the consoles had era-appropriate cathode-ray tube monitors. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Houston, We Have a Resurrection: How Mission Control Came Back from the Brink," 27 Nov. 2018 Zen’s first obligation is to provide age-appropriate content within the game’s rating. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Zen Studios alters classic pinball art to protect family-friendly rating [Updated]," 12 Oct. 2018 In that case, your medical provider can determine whether a repeat dose or surgical intervention is appropriate. SELF, "The Complicated Reality of Buying Abortion Pills Online," 8 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The legislation appropriated $3 million of the supplemental funding to South Shore, but Caveney has yet to see the money or hear from the state as to when it will be distributed. Robert Channick, chicagotribune.com, "South Shore Hospital tells state it needs $3 million in funding by Aug. 1 to avoid shutdown," 10 July 2018 Congress also appropriated another $6 billion split evenly between the next two years in a government funding bill passed this year. NBC News, "House passes massive package to address opioids crisis," 22 June 2018 Tencent ingeniously appropriated an older technology, the two-dimensional QR code, in empowering WeChat to utilize a smartphone’s camera to scan all manner of information. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Alibaba v. Tencent: The Battle for Supremacy in China," 21 June 2018 Congress in March appropriated $20 million for pre-construction planning. Ryan Sabalow And Dale Kasler, sacbee, "This one stretch of river could decide the future of Shasta Dam | The Sacramento Bee," 7 May 2018 The House appropriated $25 million for environmental clean-up, but not from higher tipping fees. 2. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "5 Michigan budget issues still to be resolved," 3 May 2018 Can contemporary cultural objects be appropriated in the same way as ancient ones? Nadra Nittle, Vox, "The cultural appropriation debate has changed. But is it for the better?," 18 Dec. 2018 Republicans have appropriated House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Farm bill, immigration redux, Ryan's potential ouster, like a Shakespeare 'play within a play'," 26 May 2018 Congress has appropriated more than $100 billion toward hurricane relief. Kevin Diaz, San Antonio Express-News, "Lesson from Harvey response: Cut the red tape," 15 Mar. 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

14 May 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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