ap·​pro·​pri·​a·​tion | \ ə-ˌprō-prē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce appropriation (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from appropriation

appropriative \ ə-​ˈprō-​prē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce appropriation (audio) \ 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 Warhol, who was so expert at appropriation that the quote is often attributed to him, proved McLuhan right. New York Times, "A Coming-Out Party for KAWS at the Brooklyn Museum," 24 Feb. 2021 The Italian-Haitian designer sees the move as a bulwark against cultural appropriation that does not economically benefit Africans and a way to prevent racist gaffes. Colleen Barry, Star Tribune, "BLM in Italian Fashion campaign shows early tangible results," 23 Feb. 2021 The city also needs to pad the contingency allowance by 10 percent in case of minor adjustments, bringing the additional appropriation request to just over $1 million. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Budget for Children’s Park redo grows to $9M," 22 Feb. 2021 Resourcefulness and inventiveness—especially creative appropriation—are equally valued. Joanna Steinhardt, Wired, "Hackers, Mason Jars, and the Psychedelic Science of DIY Shrooms," 12 Feb. 2021 Watching white fans mugging while attempting complex hip-hop routines can feel like appropriation in action. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, "Nothing Is Flattening Music Like TikTok," 12 Feb. 2021 The couple spoke to Page Six about the cultural appropriation scandal and dismissed the public’s queries about Hilaria’s personal life. Ineye Komonibo,, "The Rest Of The Baldwin Family Has Weighed In On Hilaria Baldwin Drama," 5 Jan. 2021 Within that appropriation is $15 billion targeted specifically for live performance venues, independent movie theaters and other cultural institutions that have experienced revenue declines of at least 25%. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Denver Zoo, resort bubble, nursing home shots: News from around our 50 states," 29 Dec. 2020 President Donald Trump has signed the coronavirus stimulus package and budget appropriation package. Leada Gore |, al, "Second stimulus check: Trump signs COVID stimulus with $600 payments," 28 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of appropriation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for appropriation

see appropriate entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about appropriation

Time Traveler for appropriation

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for appropriation

Last Updated

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Appropriation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for appropriation



English Language Learners Definition of appropriation

: the act of getting or saving money for a specific use or purpose
: the act of taking or using something especially in a way that is illegal, unfair, etc.
: an amount of money that is used or provided by a government for a specific purpose


ap·​pro·​pri·​a·​tion | \ ə-ˌprō-prē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce appropriation (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on appropriation

What made you want to look up appropriation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!