ex·​pro·​pri·​a·​tion (ˌ)ek-ˌsprō-prē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce expropriation (audio)
: the act of expropriating or the state of being expropriated
specifically : the action of the state in taking or modifying the property rights of an individual in the exercise of its sovereignty

Examples of expropriation in a Sentence

the development of the colony involved expropriation of large tracts of fertile farmland from the natives
Recent Examples on the Web Much can go wrong overseas: expropriations, taxes, runaway inflation. William Baldwin, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Since the summer of 2022, the occupation authorities have presided over the mass expropriation of Ukrainian assets—a further blatant violation of international law on occupation. David Lewis, Foreign Affairs, 18 Jan. 2024 Norway's highest court, the Norwegian Supreme Court, had unanimously ruled in 2021 that the expropriation of reindeer hearding land and operating permits for the construction of 151 wind turbines were invalid. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 20 Jan. 2024 However, if a company’s fundamental purpose is to be redirected — even if only in part — away from the generation of shareholder return and toward the promotion of causes favored by the CEO and his or her colleagues in the C-suite, that is a type of expropriation. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 17 Dec. 2023 Their substance, however — rent seeking, the partial expropriation of shareholders, and the sly bypassing of the democratic process — will remain the same. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 17 Dec. 2023 Analysts say the new regime faces likely challenges on several grounds, including over whether the expropriation of private property is acceptable under international legal norms, violates constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure or breaches bilateral treaties. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 The next items in Article 4 prohibit discrimination in public office and property expropriation without compensation. Joshua Leifer, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2023 Malema has typically been described outside South Africa as an anti-white populist, with few policy ideas other than the expropriation of white farmers’ land and the nationalization of corporate holdings in the country. Foreign Affairs, 14 Dec. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'expropriation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of expropriation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near expropriation

Cite this Entry

“Expropriation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expropriation. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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