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

Career Gear accepts interview-appropriate business casual clothing for men. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "9 New Ways to Donate Your Clothes," 27 Feb. 2019 Think white subway tile, wood accents, and an appropriate amount of fluorescent pink and orange accents. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "You can now stay in a tiny house powered by coffee," 24 Oct. 2018 Following the raid on the Occupy ICE encampment last week, some are questioning whether the police’s use of bikes to push and direct protesters was appropriate. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Pickleball takes over the Jersey Shore, Pa. Supreme Court donations in question | Morning Newsletter," 12 July 2018 Texas Education Agency spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said the district, which traditionally elects its board members in November, will need to call for elections of other board seats as appropriate. Krista Torralva, San Antonio Express-News, "Two years after takeover, state eases control of Edgewood ISD," 2 July 2018 Slimane supplanted the tepidly pretty, bourgeois style of the house’s previous designer, Stefano Pilati, with a rock-and-roll spirit more appropriate for Hollywood Boulevard than Paris’s rue de Grenelle. Alexandra Marshall, WSJ, "Exclusive: Step Inside YSL’s New Parisian Headquarters," 15 Feb. 2019 The wintery boutique is on East Hyman Street, next door to the Aspen Art Museum—which is appropriate, seeing as the store kind of looks like a modern art gallery itself. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "RIMOWA's New Pop-Up Is One More Reason to Visit Aspen This Winter," 20 Dec. 2018 The actual air intake (in the lower part of the front bumper) is active and closes when appropriate to further cut drag. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The new 2019 Hyundai Kona EV is a clever little electric crossover," 24 Oct. 2018 However its role as an aggressive expression in its own right is particularly appropriate for this age. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "Learning to Be Funny," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This week, the organization was officially notified that the government had appropriated the property. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "Russia Seizes Property From Jehovah’s Witnesses After Banning Group," 6 Mar. 2019 Beyond that, the court will have to decide whether using a dance move in a video game can be considered appropriating someone’s likeness, in effect using someone else’s identity to sell something. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018 These fake accounts appropriate some real person’s picture online. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Social Media Crime Fighters at FireEye Are Helping Facebook Find Fake Accounts," 12 Oct. 2018 The money includes $1 billion for the current 2018 budget year and $195 million appropriated for 2017 that would have had to have been returned to the Treasury had it not been spent by Sept. 30. Matthew Lee, Fox News, "US to release $1.2 billion in military aid to Egypt," 7 Sep. 2018 Trump has told advisers that he was spurned in a large spending bill last week when lawmakers appropriated only $1.6 billion for the border wall. Author: Josh Dawsey, Mike Debonis, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump privately presses for military to pay for border wall," 27 Mar. 2018 For Albanians, the eagle is a proud historical symbol Different political factions have sought to appropriate the eagle, usually by forcing symbols between the two eagle heads. Ani Kokobobo, Washington Post, "For Albanians, it’s not just an eagle. Here’s the deeper story those World Cup fines.," 2 July 2018 Athens also claimed that using the name was an attempt to appropriate the ancient civilization of Macedonia, a Greek kingdom ruled by Philip II and Alexander the Great. Niki Kitsantonis, BostonGlobe.com, "Macedonia signs historic deal with Greece on name dispute," 17 June 2018 That money won’t be paid out until Congress appropriates funding for fiscal year 2019, Mr. Todd wrote. Courtney Mcbride, WSJ, "State Department Workers Called Back to Their Jobs," 17 Jan. 2019

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

19 Mar 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.
appropriateness noun

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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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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