appropriate

adjective
ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ ə-ˈprō-prē-ət How to pronounce appropriate (audio) \

Essential Meaning of appropriate

: right or suited for some purpose or situation It's a formal occasion and appropriate attire/dress/clothing is expected. [=you are expected to wear formal clothing] Red wine would have been a more appropriate choice with the meal. See More ExamplesWe'll need to find an appropriate [=suitable] place to store the fuel. Do you think the movie is appropriate for small children (to see)? = Do you think it's appropriate for small children to see the movie? The movie is perfectly/entirely appropriate to/for people of all ages.Hide

Full 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

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 Patients with less-urgent needs may be taken to urgent-care centers and other alternative sites when appropriate, according to the guidelines. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 11 Jan. 2022 Patients with less-urgent needs may be taken to urgent-care centers and other alternative sites when appropriate, according to the guidelines. Paulina Firozi And Paulina Villegas, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Jan. 2022 These include locking up more products and hiring security when appropriate. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, 7 Jan. 2022 Insurance companies are required by law to reimburse patients for Covid-19 diagnostic testing, but those tests must be deemed medically appropriate by a healthcare provider and don’t include screening or return-to-work testing. Andrew Restuccia And Brianna Abbott, WSJ, 6 Jan. 2022 There are ways of tackling obesity, though, including bariatric surgery when appropriate. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 Not that Ford's Mustang Mach-E4X GT needs more names, but Fridge seems more appropriate than Mustang. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, 28 Dec. 2021 The cursor simply moves behind the notch when appropriate, and when menu bar items extend towards the notch, they simply get placed on the other side of it. Christian De Looper, BGR, 20 Dec. 2021 The very question of what does or does not seem appropriate for Maria and the other Puerto Rican characters is itself a matter of controversy. Los Angeles Times, 10 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With a unanimous vote, the council decided to appropriate $75,000 to the Gulf Shores Airport Authority and to continue support of the Gulf Shores International Airport, Jack Edwards Field. al, 15 Dec. 2021 But by 1935, officials in charge of the Third Reich’s new elite schools, the National Political Education Institutes, or Napolas, had plans to appropriate the exchange program to promote National Socialist aims. Helen Roche, The Conversation, 14 Dec. 2021 The Utah state government finished the 2021 fiscal year with more than a half-billion dollars in surplus; money lawmakers will be able to appropriate during the legislative session early next year. Jeff Parrott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Nov. 2021 These are her best tips for celebrating while being careful not to appropriate the culture. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Oct. 2021 But Congress will have to appropriate that money annually in budget bills. Aarian Marshall, Wired, 9 Nov. 2021 The state constitution does not allow ballot initiatives to appropriate money without covering that appropriation with new revenues. Tami Luhby, CNN, 23 June 2021 The proposal does not identify how to pay for the program and instead leaves it up to legislators to appropriate the money. oregonlive, 12 June 2021 The ordinance setting out the raises calls for the county to appropriate about $501,324 from unappropriated reserves in the Road Fund to pay for the increases in the county's 2022 budget. Tom Sissom, Arkansas Online, 8 Dec. 2021

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

Learn More About appropriate

Time Traveler for appropriate

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near appropriate

appropinquity

appropriate

appropriate technology

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Statistics for appropriate

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Appropriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/appropriate. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for appropriate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on appropriate

Nglish: Translation of appropriate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of appropriate for Arabic Speakers

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