ap·​pro·​pri·​a·​tion ə-ˌprō-prē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce appropriation (audio)
: an act or instance of appropriating something
: something that has been appropriated
specifically : money set aside by formal action for a specific use
the city's appropriation for schools
appropriative 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 Passing appropriation bills requires the support of 75 members of the House and 27 members of the Senate. Neal Earley,, 19 Nov. 2023 The House and Senate passed the short-term fix earlier this week, with House Republicans unable to reach internal agreement on longer-term, individual appropriations bills. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 17 Nov. 2023 The extra time gained through the CR will allow House Republicans to pass appropriations bills and for House and Senate negotiators to reach a deal on funding. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 16 Nov. 2023 Conservatives then blocked a procedural motion on the floor Wednesday for the appropriations bill in a harsh rebuke of Johnson. Cami Mondeaux, Washington Examiner, 15 Nov. 2023 Four of the twelve appropriations bills would be funded at current levels through January 19; the other eight would be funded through February 2. The Editors, National Review, 14 Nov. 2023 If the House and Senate haven’t agreed on 12 appropriations laws by the start of next year, across-the-board 1 percent spending cuts are set to kick in at the end of April, which archconservatives have hoped to use to compel those policy changes. Marianna Sotomayor, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2023 The agreement serves as a funding vehicle and is subject to future appropriations by Congress. Jennifer McDermott, Fortune, 10 Nov. 2023 There’s also a lot of thoughtful material about gentrification, appropriation, and the challenges of trying to live an ethical life. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 6 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'appropriation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see appropriate entry 2

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near appropriation

Cite this Entry

“Appropriation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ap·​pro·​pri·​a·​tion ə-ˌprō-prē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce appropriation (audio)
: an act or instance of appropriating
: a sum of money appropriated for a specific use

More from Merriam-Webster on appropriation

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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