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 \ ə-​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 Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said on Thursday that the Senate would vote on at least one package of appropriations bills next week. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "Senate Fails to Override Trump’s Veto, Keeping Border Emergency in Place," 17 Oct. 2019 Its allies in the Senate have again advanced an appropriations bill that would bar the IRS from developing its own tax filing system. Justin Elliott, ProPublica, "Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free," 17 Oct. 2019 Under internal policy and appropriations law, ICE is required to notify next of kin, consular offices, local stakeholders and Congress when there is a death in custody. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Cuban immigrant dies by apparent suicide in ICE custody in Louisiana," 16 Oct. 2019 This threshold for ending debate still applies to most legislation, including appropriations bills and most laws in areas such as military policy, the environment or civil rights. Daniel Wirls, The Conversation, "The Senate filibuster explained – and why it should be allowed to die," 13 Sep. 2019 Late in the legislative session last year, language to end the program was inserted into the Justice Systems appropriations bill which passed, killing the bail reform pilot program. Collette Richards, CNN, "States are trying to change a system that keeps poor people in jail. The bail industry is blocking them.," 30 Aug. 2019 Instead, its 2020 appropriations bill recommends giving the environmental health center an additional $34 million and the climate program an additional $5 million. Maya Earls, Science | AAAS, "Climate expert at CDC poised to file whistleblower complaint over treatment," 14 Aug. 2019 The 2019 appropriations bill included a provision prohibiting immigration enforcement against sponsor households based on ORR information, but this protection expires at the end of fiscal year 2019. Renae Reints, Fortune, "‘It’s Not a Home for Children.’ Thousands of Migrant Children Remain in Shelters at the Border," 26 July 2019 Since federal appropriations law prohibits using public money for political purposes, Fischer noted, the issue will depend on what Trump says in his speech. The Washington Post,, "Park Service diverting $2.5 million in fees to pay for Trump’s expanded July Fourth," 3 July 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

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for appropriation

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

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More Definitions for appropriation


How to pronounce appropriation (audio)

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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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).


something of little or no value

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