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

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Other Words from appropriation

appropriative \ -​ˈprō-​prē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce appropriative (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

But what happens when imitation appears to cross over into cultural appropriation and exploitation? Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Some White Influencers Are Being Accused of "Blackfishing," or Using Makeup to Appear Black," 16 Nov. 2018 The amendment to a homeland security appropriations bill would advise ICE to provide every detainee in custody with a copy of a privacy waiver form. Nicholas Bogel-burroughs,, "'There’s a family here waiting for them': Baltimore woman wants to take in granddaughter separated at border," 21 June 2018 The fund could receive both state appropriations and private funding. Jamie Halper,, "Lawmakers consider new civics requirements for students," 21 June 2018 Courtesy Center for Architecture But appropriation, in a negative light, isn’t necessarily Hip-Hop Architecture’s fate. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Can hip-hop make architecture more equitable?," 8 Oct. 2018 Detroit is fearless, but appropriation is such an issue these days. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The Hidden Message in Tessa Thompson's Sorry to Bother You Makeup," 1 Aug. 2018 Rob Portman, a Republican, and Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, pushed through a $1.08-billion appropriation for the latest version of the Abrams tank. David S. Cloud,, "Fat Pentagon budget brings jobs to struggling Ohio tank factory — and a political payoff for Trump," 2 July 2018 All of this money is paid from a permanent, indefinite appropriation for special counsels. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Fact-checking President Trump’s attacks on the cost of Mueller’s investigation," 4 June 2018 The money, which has not yet been finalized, would be in addition to a recent federal appropriation aimed at expanding the AgCenter's roseau recovery plan. Tristan Baurick,, "Fight against Louisiana's wetland plague getting $1 million boost," 16 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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Statistics for appropriation

Last Updated

4 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for appropriation

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

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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

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