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


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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 Last year, Clear Media's owner disclosed that several of the company's employees were under investigation by Chinese police for allegedly misappropriating funds. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Clear Channel Outdoor puts Chinese advertising division up for sale," 29 Nov. 2019 Former Mayor Sheila Dixon left office in 2010 as part of a plea deal for misappropriating about $500 in gift cards meant for needy families. Washington Post, "Baltimore ex-mayor enters guilty pleas in fraud case," 22 Nov. 2019 Former Mayor Sheila Dixon left office in 2010 as part of a plea deal for misappropriating about $500 in gift cards meant for needy families. NBC News, "Ex-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh indicted on fraud charges in children's books probe," 20 Nov. 2019 In February 2010, AA Capital's president and co-owner, John Orecchio, now 53, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and theft for misappropriating $24.2 million from six union pension funds — including the carpenters' and Operating Engineers Local 324. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Metro Detroit union sunk $100M+ into risky deals — now retirees could pay the price," 12 Nov. 2019 Of those, 10,000 were removed from Facebook for potentially misappropriating Facebook users’ data, the NYT reported. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Facebook suspends tens of thousands of apps in ongoing privacy investigation," 21 Sep. 2019 Of those, the majority were terminated because the developers did not cooperate with Facebook’s investigation; 10,000 were flagged for potentially misappropriating personal data from Facebook users. Kate Conger, New York Times, "Facebook’s Suspension of ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Apps Reveals Wider Privacy Issues," 20 Sep. 2019 Correia, who was first elected mayor in 2015 at just 23, was previously arrested in October 2018 for allegedly misappropriating investor funding. BostonGlobe.com, "FALL RIVER — Fall River voters headed to the polls Tuesday in an election that could eliminate Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II’s shot at a third term, just 10 days after his arrest on federal extortion charges.," 18 Sep. 2019 The investigation grew in part out of civil lawsuits against Huawei, including one in which a Seattle jury found Huawei liable for misappropriating robotic technology from T-Mobile’s Bellevue, Wash., lab, the people familiar with the matter said. Dan Strumpf, WSJ, "Huawei Targeted in U.S. Criminal Probe for Alleged Theft of Trade Secrets," 16 Jan. 2019

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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Time Traveler for misappropriate

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The first known use of misappropriate was in 1825

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Statistics for misappropriate

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Misappropriate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misappropriate?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=m&file=misapp03. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for misappropriate


How to pronounce misappropriate (audio)

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

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to assail by words or arguments

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