1

appropriate

play
verb ap·pro·pri·ate \ə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt\

Definition of appropriate

appropriated

appropriating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to take exclusive possession of :  annex <no one should appropriate a common benefit>

  3. 2 :  to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use <appropriate money for the research program>

  4. 3 :  to take or make use of without authority or right

appropriable

play \-prē-ə-bəl\ adjective

appropriator

play \-prē-ˌā-tər\ noun

Examples of appropriate in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The town has appropriated funds to repair the bridge and work should begin this summer.

  5. The economy has been weakened by corrupt officials who have appropriated the country's resources for their own use.

  6. Elements of the design were appropriated from other architects.

  7. The term bad has been appropriated by teenagers as a synonym for good.

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.

Origin and Etymology of appropriate

Middle English, from Late Latin appropriatus, past participle of appropriare, from Latin ad- + proprius own


First Known Use: 15th century


2

appropriate

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adjective ap·pro·pri·ate \ə-ˈprō-prē-ət\

Definition of appropriate

  1. :  especially suitable or compatible :  fitting <an appropriate response> <remarks appropriate to the occasion>

appropriately

adverb

appropriateness

noun

Examples of appropriate in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Red wine would have been a more appropriate choice with the meal.

  6. The movie is perfectly appropriate to people of all ages.

Origin and Etymology of appropriate

(see 1appropriate)


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of appropriate

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>.

APPROPRIATE Defined for English Language Learners

1

appropriate

play
verb ap·pro·pri·ate \ə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt\

Definition of appropriate for English Language Learners

  • : 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.


2

appropriate

play
adjective ap·pro·pri·ate \ə-ˈprō-prē-ət\

Definition of appropriate for English Language Learners

  • : right or suited for some purpose or situation


APPROPRIATE Defined for Kids

1

appropriate

play
adjective ap·pro·pri·ate \ə-ˈprō-prē-ət\

Definition of appropriate for Students

  1. :  especially fitting or suitable <The movie is appropriate for small children.>

appropriately

adverb <We dressed appropriately for the occasion.>

appropriateness

noun

2

appropriate

play
verb ap·pro·pri·ate \ə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt\

Definition of appropriate for Students

appropriated

appropriating

  1. 1 :  to take possession of especially in an illegal or unfair way

  2. 2 :  to set apart for a certain purpose or use <The school appropriated funds for new books.>


Law Dictionary

appropriate

play
transitive verb ap·pro·pri·ate \ə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt\

Legal Definition of appropriate

appropriated

appropriating

  1. 1 :  to set apart for or assign to a particular recipient, purpose, or use <the legislature appropriating funds for the program>

  2. 2 :  to take or make use of without authority or right

appropriation

\ə-ˌprō-prē-ˈā-shən\ play noun

Origin and Etymology of appropriate

Late Latin appropriare to take possession of, from ad to, for + proprius one's own



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