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 They’re still assessing how much was misappropriated; the U.S. estimates more than half. Shamim Adam, Washington Post, "How Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal Shook the Financial World," 31 Oct. 2019 Lani Martha D’Arcy, a former treasurer for the John Muir Elementary School PTA, is accused of embezzlement after San Bruno police were told that funds from a PTA checking account may have been misappropriated. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "San Bruno woman arrested, accused of stealing $80,000 from school PTA group," 31 Oct. 2019 The enforcement commission concluded Wednesday that Conley, alone, was to blame for misappropriating the funds and, in the course of that, violating campaign financing laws. Jon Lender, courant.com, "Jon Lender: A theft, a campaign finance infraction and a bludgeoning death in posh Fairfield County," 19 Oct. 2019 The commission alleged Ruderman misappropriated $35 million on spending that included a vacation to Greece, a Mercedes-Benz and a personal chef. Marcia Heroux Pounds, sun-sentinel.com, "Victims of cash-advance firm’s alleged securities fraud stand to recover $100 million," 17 Sep. 2019 The Republican from Westwood learned on Tuesday campaign funds were misappropriated, Braden said in a statement earlier this week. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "A 'shocking betrayal.' Democratic candidate Nikki Foster calls on Rep. Steve Chabot to resign over campaign finance troubles," 6 Sep. 2019 The government denied rumours that 136bn yuan had been misappropriated. The Economist, "The Chinese state manages the world’s second-biggest lottery industry," 29 Aug. 2019 The letter did not specify how much church money was misappropriated. Daniel Burke, CNN, "West Virginia bishop spent church money on liquor, 'luxury items' and home renovations, church report says," 5 June 2019 President Obiang Nguema as well as his son and likely successor, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who is vice president, have both been mired in allegations of corruption and misappropriated public funds. Amindeh Blaise Atabong, Quartz Africa, "One of Africa’s wealthiest countries is building a Trump-like wall to stop migrants," 12 Aug. 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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The first known use of misappropriate was in 1825

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Misappropriate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misappropriated. Accessed 21 November 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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