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

Blevins' alleged accomplice, Nunez, still faces a single count of misappropriating ID information as party to a crime, is scheduled for a trial on the charge July 31. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha man convicted of Sunset Bowl armed robbery, using deceased mother's credit cards to fund heroin addiction," 27 June 2018 Then, on April 9, Howard officials announced that six former employees had misappropriated $369,000 in financial aid from 2011 to 2016. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "What’s going on at the nation’s premier historically black university?," 7 June 2018 The indictment alleged Powell illegally sold promissory notes and misappropriated investment funds received in exchange for the notes. Anna Beahm, AL.com, "Colbert County man jailed for exploiting elderly, securities fraud," 6 Apr. 2018 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

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

22 May 2019

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Time Traveler for misappropriate

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).


behavior toward others

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