ap·​pro·​pri·​a·​tion | \ə-ˌprō-prē-ˈā-shən \

Definition of appropriation 

1 : an act or instance of appropriating something

2 : something that has been appropriated specifically : money set aside by formal action for a specific use the city's appropriation for schools

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Other Words from appropriation

appropriative \ -​ˈprō-​prē-​ˌā-​tiv \ adjective

Examples of appropriation in a Sentence

the appropriation of funds to repair the bridge The economy has been weakened by the appropriation of the country's resources by corrupt officials.

Recent Examples on the Web

Congressional leaders typically strike an agreement on the overall funding level, but leave it to the appropriations panel to divvy it up between agencies. WSJ, "Meet the New Agenda Setters in the House," 7 Nov. 2018 This is the question that appropriation art pioneer Richard Prince has been fighting in court for years. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "How to use Instagram like an appropriation artist," 18 Oct. 2018 The video is pure Amandla—honest and personal but pointed about the issues, in this case about the harm that cultural appropriation can do. Doria Santlofer, Glamour, "Amandla Stenberg: 'I Want to Express Myself as Authentically as I Can.'," 15 Oct. 2018 Mind you, the usual logic of cultural appropriation arguments doesn’t apply here. Andrew Grant-thomas And Melissa Giraud, Good Housekeeping, "Parents: Maybe Don't Buy Your Kid That Black Panther Costume This Halloween," 11 Oct. 2018 The country’s new name, Northern Macedonia, is designed to appease Greek sensitivities about cultural appropriation. The Economist, "Politics this week," 14 June 2018 Rubio has also introduced a provision into an appropriations bill that would restrict government funds from being used to purchase telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei and ZTE. New York Times,, "US strikes deal to lift sanctions on China’s ZTE," 7 June 2018 In the lengthly budget process in Washington, appropriations bills must then follow. Stephen Singer,, "House Backs Defense Spending Bill Calling For 3 Subs A Year," 24 May 2018 And the governor did not support the language that was used to remove Zeringue's amendment from the supplemental appropriations bill, Carbo said. Mark Schleifstein,, "Coast fund loses $3M, major events fund wins $4.8 M, in Senate budget fight," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appropriation.' 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 appropriation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for appropriation

see appropriate entry 2

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for appropriation

The first known use of appropriation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for appropriation


ap·​pro·​pri·​a·​tion | \ə-ˌprō-prē-ˈā-shən \

Kids Definition of appropriation

1 : an act or instance of taking especially illegally or unfairly

2 : the act or an instance of setting apart for a special purpose

3 : a sum of money set apart for a special purpose

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Comments on appropriation

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a private place of worship

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