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 \ ə-​ˈprō-​prē-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \ adjective
appropriator \ ə-​ˈprō-​prē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce appropriate (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 On the second day of the new year, conditions in Washington refused to be restrained by meteorological convention and instead raced ahead of themselves to reach temperatures more appropriate for spring. Washington Post, "On the second day of 2021, it seemed a bit like spring," 3 Jan. 2021 Be prepared, including planning an outing that’s appropriate for your skill level, and bring extra clothing, food, and water. Pamela Wright, BostonGlobe.com, "It’s the perfect year to try snowshoeing," 1 Jan. 2021 When appropriate, continue to conduct virtual meetings and save to-and-fro travel time. Phil Blair, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Finally, it’s time to look ahead to better times to come," 28 Dec. 2020 Oyelowo loved the diversity of the Aether's crew, appropriate for a film set several decades in the future. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Poignant The Midnight Sky wrestles with whether humankind is worth saving," 24 Dec. 2020 Money is generally invested in funds with a mix of stocks and bonds appropriate for a worker’s age, managed by a private company that is regulated by the state. New York Times, "Saving at Work for Retirement: A Perk Coming to More States in 2021," 22 Dec. 2020 Some of my friends just can’t shut the f___ up about sectional densities, and for them, a tracking dog gift certificate seems appropriate. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "The 6.5 Creedmoor Lover’s (and Hater’s) Gift Guide," 21 Dec. 2020 Counseling could help ensure timely referrals to antibody treatment when appropriate. Scott Gottlieb And Mark Mcclellan, WSJ, "Why Are Covid Antibody Drugs Sitting on Shelves?," 20 Dec. 2020 When appropriate, Ax employed just the right amount of rubato or accelerando. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Review: Dallas Symphony, Emanuel Ax and Pinchas Zukerman celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday," 18 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The legislation would appropriate $20 million in grant funding to increase internet access for rural students, teachers, and parents. Robert Davis, Washington Examiner, "Day two of Colorado's special session sees key bills advance," 2 Dec. 2020 The state will appropriate $100 million of CARES Act funds to aid businesses suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office For Economic Relief and Recovery (GOFERR). Elyse Kelly, Washington Examiner, "New Hampshire nearing another round of relief funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19," 16 Nov. 2020 Trump’s decision to deny such grants would violate the authority of Congress to appropriate funds and would encroach on municipalities’ power to set local policy, Johnson said. Henry Goldman, Bloomberg.com, "NYC, Seattle and Portland Sue Trump on Funding Threat," 22 Oct. 2020 This is the best of both worlds: a predictable and fair system for deciding who gets to use what in space, which avoids what could have been a destructive scramble to appropriate celestial real estate. Alexander William Salter, National Review, "The Artemis Accords: A Giant Leap for Space Commerce," 6 Nov. 2020 Mass General Brigham developed a Covid-19 screener chatbot to rapidly stratify sick patients, facilitate triage of patients to appropriate care settings, and alleviate the workload on contact centers. Satish Gattadahalli, STAT, "Ten steps to ethics-based governance of AI in health care," 3 Nov. 2020 Furthermore, Australia’s signing of the Accords strikes a decisive blow against the claim that the U.S. is looking to appropriate space by other means. Alexander William Salter, National Review, "The Artemis Accords: A Giant Leap for Space Commerce," 6 Nov. 2020 The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department had warned those celebrating the win to adhere to appropriate COVID-19 health guidelines. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, "Los Angeles erupts into overnight unrest after Dodgers win, sparking coronavirus, crime concerns," 28 Oct. 2020 All the while, those same friends would appropriate Black culture. NBC News, "Not enough or double the prejudice: On being Black and Asian American in 2020," 18 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for appropriate

Time Traveler

The first known use of appropriate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for appropriate

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Appropriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/appropriate. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for appropriate

appropriate

adjective
How to pronounce appropriate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of appropriate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: right or suited for some purpose or situation

appropriate

verb
How to pronounce appropriate (audio)

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 appropriate (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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