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 appropriable (audio) \ adjective
appropriator \ ə-​ˈprō-​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

At the 2006 Memorial Day ceremonies, Fringer chose not to call attention to himself, even though that would have been fitting and appropriate. Kevin Dayhoff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Dayhoff: My first grade teacher Belle Fringer, the wife of a hero, the mother of a hero, and my hero," 14 Sep. 2019 The coastal zone was indicated in blue, orange spots showed a discretionary 500-foot buffer around schools, and purple indicated the zoning districts deemed shelter-appropriate. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Land-use restrictions play into Newport Beach homeless shelter search," 8 Sep. 2019 In his first season as a Miami Dolphin in 1970, center Jim Langer set a modest but appropriate goal for himself each practice: Do well enough not to get chewed out by coaches. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins Hall of Fame center Jim Langer dies at 71," 30 Aug. 2019 Pederson ruled July 1 that the district failed to provide a free and appropriate public education in the 2017-18 school year and to offer an individual education plan reasonably calculated to do so for the 2018-19 year. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Grafton appeals decision forcing it to pay $78,000-a-year private school tuition for student with learning disabilities," 16 Aug. 2019 They’re made in a variety of styles and materials, so keep it wedding-appropriate by going for ones with long, flowy pants and dressier materials (think silky, not structured). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Here's What You Should—and Shouldn't—Ever Wear to a Wedding," 23 July 2019 But on Monday, Trump suggested that a retaliatory attack in coming days might be appropriate. Washington Post, "Pentagon urges restraint as administration blames Iran for Saudi strikes," 18 Sep. 2019 The volunteer fire department has no policies on when this procedure may be appropriate and no required documentation to ensure subsequent delivery of the items to West Friendship. Erin B. Logan, baltimoresun.com, "Howard audit alleges fraud, abuse of taxpayer dollars at West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department," 14 Aug. 2019 If a fire pit isn't an option, recreate campfire vibes with a deck-appropriate grill. Jessica Dailey, ELLE Decor, "The Ultimate Guide to Infusing a Western-Chic Vibe Into Your Home," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Guzmán appropriated the phrase, but shed both Mariátegui’s sophistication of thought and his interest in Peru’s indigenous past and present. Rachel Nolan, Harper's magazine, "A Jagged Scrap of History," 24 June 2019 There seems to be something delicious for eaters across the spectrum and appropriates the best of what each season seems to offer. Beth Segal, cleveland.com, "Thyme Table: Sage decisions can make for a great meal in Bay Village," 30 Aug. 2019 Perry’s friends and fans have accused Kloss of fabricating the allegations and appropriating the intentions of the #MeToo movement to garner publicity. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Katy Perry faces new sexual harassment allegation, second claim in a week," 16 Aug. 2019 One uncertainty is whether Congress will appropriate the $50 million that Trump requested as a down payment for the CCDI in 2020. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Researchers weigh in on Trump’s $500 million plan to share childhood cancer data," 5 Aug. 2019 His quest to start building a fence along America’s southern border using money Congress appropriated for other projects got a shot in the arm from five justices—with the four liberal justices in dissent. S.m. | New York, The Economist, "The Supreme Court’s ruling on the border wall leaves unanswered questions," 29 July 2019 Cofounded in 2015 by Josh Luber and Quicken Loans billionaire Dan Gilbert, StockX has fully appropriated Wall Street lingo to resell sneakers, streetwear, handbags, and wristwatches. Ashwin Rodrigues, Fortune, "What Is StockX? Everything You Need to Know About the Billion-Dollar Sneaker Empire," 21 July 2019 The Board of Supervisors set a public hearing for Aug. 7, after which a $1.42 million will likely be appropriated for the purchase and related costs. J. Harry Jones, Ramona Sentinel, "County closer to buying 160 acres of open space," 15 July 2019 The decision is at odds with a May 24 ruling by a federal judge in California that temporarily blocked part of the plan using money Congress never appropriated for that purpose. Spencer S. Hsu, The Denver Post, "Judge rejects House suit to block transfer of billions of dollars for Trump border wall," 3 June 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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Statistics for appropriate

Last Updated

15 Oct 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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