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 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 Jim Bakker Televangelist Jim Bakker was sentenced to five years in prison in 1989 for 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy after misappropriating funds from followers for his own use. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Fraud, private jets and a Lamborghini: 10 televangelists who've been under fire," 17 June 2019 Homer allegedly misappropriated the information, obtained from his then-girlfriend, an Ulta employee who wasn’t identified in the lawsuit. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "SEC lawsuit alleges insider information on Ulta Beauty was used to net $100,000-plus in stock gains," 6 Sep. 2019 To give itself a boost, the suit claims, Forever 21 misappropriated Grande’s star power in Instagram and Twitter posts spanning roughly 14 weeks. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Ariana Grande’s lawyers say Forever 21 stole her image as a “desperate attempt to stay relevant”," 4 Sep. 2019 Citing court records, the Press-Enterprise reports Williams has prior convictions for petty theft, grand theft, misappropriating lost property, grand theft auto and attempted robbery. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Sister of NBA Star Kawhi Leonard Accused of Murdering 84-Year-Old Woman at Casino," 9 Sep. 2019 Grande claims that the defendants then launched misleading campaigns on their websites and social media, publishing at least 30 unauthorized images and videos that misappropriate Ariana’s name and likeness. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Ariana Grande sues Forever 21 for $10 million claiming they 'stole her likeness'," 3 Sep. 2019 The city also violated its nepotism policy and misappropriated $243,000 in taxpayer fees, auditors said. Lex Talamo, The Seattle Times, "Washington attorney general accuses Wapato city official of enriching himself by creating and accepting $95,000 job," 10 June 2019 On Wednesday, a Texas court found that Huawei had misappropriated trade secrets from California chip maker CNEX. Klint Finley, WIRED, "Surprise! Huawei Can Actually Innovate—and Win Fans," 1 July 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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Statistics for misappropriate

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for misappropriate

The first known use of misappropriate was in 1825

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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

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


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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