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

This team of hacks is content with Jack’s cultural appropriation. Armond White, National Review, "Yesterday Is Cynical, Fake Nostalgia," 28 June 2019 Every Kim Kardashian cultural appropriation scandal is a teachable moment. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "#KimOhNo: Be Grateful That Kim Kardashian Is Bad at Puns," 27 June 2019 The fashion world has long struggled with the line between cultural appropriation and appreciation. Tracy Brown,, "Yes, Kim Kardashian’s ‘Kimono’ is cultural appropriation. And she’s not alone," 26 June 2019 Wisconsin governors can strike out individual words from bills with appropriations, giving them the ability to substantially change legislation. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Assembly approves bills on homelessness, regulation of 5G technology," 18 June 2019 Back in 2016, for example, actress and Oberlin alumnus Lena Dunham drew attention to an incident in which students complained that the college had engaged in cultural appropriation by serving sushi and other food. Fox News, "Oberlin College to pay bakery the now-massive sum of $44M over racism dispute," 14 June 2019 This $927,500 appropriation confirms the economic impact that Northlight Theatre will bring to downtown Evanston. Genevieve Bookwalter,, "State money earmarked to help Evanston nonprofits with capital projects," 11 June 2019 The 2013 album faced backlash for cultural appropriation and using hip-hop culture for popularity. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Miley Cyrus Apologizes for Controversial 2017 Hip-Hop Comments: 'Simply Said, I F---ed Up'," 11 June 2019 Congress passed the first iteration of the Hyde Amendment in 1976, just a few years after Roe v. Wade, attaching it to Medicaid appropriations. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "What is the Hyde Amendment?," 7 June 2019

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

11 Jul 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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