mis·​ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ ˌmi-sə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt How to pronounce misappropriate (audio) \
misappropriated; misappropriating; misappropriates

Definition of misappropriate

transitive verb

: to appropriate wrongly (as by theft or embezzlement)

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Other Words from misappropriate

misappropriation \ ˌmi-​sə-​ˌprō-​prē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce misappropriation (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for misappropriate


appropriate, boost [slang], filch, heist, hook, lift, nick [British slang], nip, pilfer, pinch, pocket, purloin, rip off, snitch, steal, swipe, thieve

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Examples of misappropriate in a Sentence

They accused him of misappropriating town funds. a financial manager misappropriating funds from her clients' accounts

Recent Examples on the Web

This isn’t the first time that Epic Games has brazenly misappropriated the likeness of African-American talent. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Epic Games is getting sued for turning rapper 2 Milly’s dance into a Fortnite emote," 5 Dec. 2018 The practice helped prevent the rightful owners from discovering their addresses were being misappropriated. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "How 3ve’s BGP hijackers eluded the Internet—and made $29M," 21 Dec. 2018 At a news conference last week, Patsos denied abusing the manager and disavowed any knowledge of per diem money being misappropriated. Tim Reynolds, baltimoresun.com, "Siena men's basketball coach Jimmy Patsos resigns amid investigation into abuse," 13 Apr. 2018 Several allies from the private sector who stand accused of misappropriating public funds have also been locked up. Ernesto LondoÑo And Daniel Politi, New York Times, "Corruption Arrests in Argentina Raise Hope, and Skepticism," 8 Jan. 2018 The findings in a state audit that uncovered evidence that indicates two former San Ysidro school administrators may have conspired to engage in fraud or misappropriate district funds have been turned over to the District Attorney’s Office. David Hernandez, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Audit findings related to ex-San Ysidro school administrators turned over to the DA," 16 June 2018 An outside auditor found last year that university employees misappropriated financial aid funding over the course of nine years. Liv Kiely And Marilia Brocchetto, CNN, "Howard University students demand answers in financial aid scandal," 29 Mar. 2018 Swiss authorities are investigating how much of the money that flowed through the Swiss financial system may have been misappropriated, Michael Lauber said Tuesday. Yantoultra Ngui, WSJ, "About $7 Billion Linked to 1MDB Flowed Through Global Financial System, Switzerland Says," 10 July 2018 Then news came that hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial aid had been misappropriated. Noah Weiland, New York Times, "Howard University Stares Down Challenges, and Hard Questions on Black Colleges," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misappropriate.' 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 misappropriate

1825, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for misappropriate

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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The first known use of misappropriate was in 1825

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English Language Learners Definition of misappropriate

formal : to take (something, such as money) dishonestly for your own use : to appropriate (something) wrongly


transitive verb
mis·​ap·​pro·​pri·​ate | \ ˌmi-sə-ˈprō-prē-ˌāt How to pronounce misappropriate (audio) \

Legal Definition of misappropriate

: to appropriate wrongfully or unlawfully (as by theft or embezzlement)

Other Words from misappropriate

misappropriation \ -​ˌprō-​prē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce misappropriation (audio) \ noun

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Comments on misappropriate

What made you want to look up misappropriate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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