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

For long, appropriation of identities and assets by the privileged has been among the key challenges faced by aborigines across the world. K A Shaji, Quartz India, "Tribals in India’s Kerala are protesting against a Hindu name given to a captured elephant," 30 Aug. 2019 Cultural appropriation isn’t a new concept, but the debate rages on in 2019. Laura Pearson,, "In highly anticipated ‘White Negroes,’ Lauren Michele Jackson offers nuanced critique of cultural appropriation," 26 Aug. 2019 This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "Trump signs order to expedite forgiving student loan debt for disabled veterans," 21 Aug. 2019 At the University of Alaska, state appropriations are the biggest source of revenue, according to financial documents. Bloomberg,, "Alaska’s governor makes unprecedented cuts in state university spending," 6 July 2019 But was this year’s text appropriation a plagiarism scandal? Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Democrats Are Winning the Battle of Ideas, But Could Still Lose the War," 10 June 2019 The Assembly and Senate appropriations committees passed hundreds of measures through a procedural bottleneck for legislation with significant fiscal impacts, moving them to the floor for consideration before the full chambers. Dustin Gardiner,, "11th-hour deal paves way for bill to end rent gouging in state," 30 Aug. 2019 The two are co-chairs of the budget-writing appropriations committee. Josh Kovner,, "Concerns increase over fate of nine high-vacancy nursing homes targeted for Medicaid cuts," 28 Aug. 2019 The letter is signed mostly by New York and New Jersey members of the House, including foreign affairs committee chairman Eliot Engel and appropriations committee chairwoman Nita Lowey. Dallas News, "Ocasio-Cortez among 27 East Coast lawmakers wading into American Airlines' dispute with mechanics," 20 Aug. 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

19 Sep 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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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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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