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 The idea that anyone misappropriates it to make coronavirus seem like an Asian plot is terrible. Los Angeles Times, "First coronavirus, now ‘murder hornets’? ‘The Simpsons’ predicts the future again," 7 May 2020 Genius did another round of analysis and estimates 40 percent of lyrics from new music displayed in the information box were misappropriated from its site. Ashley Cullins, Billboard, "Genius Says It Caught Google, LyricFind 'Redhanded' Stealing Lyrics in $50M Suit," 3 Dec. 2019 And there is controversy over Nashville’s signature dish, hot chicken, an African-American creation that many feel has been misappropriated and widely marketed by white people. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "A Tornado Decimated North Nashville. The Rebuilding May Destroy Its Soul.," 4 Mar. 2020 An investigation later showed Gold misappropriated more than $49,000 of the money and spent the majority of it on personal expense between October 2013 and January 2015. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Westlake attorney pleads guilty to embezzlement, stealing client’s identity," 31 Jan. 2020 Earlier this month, federal authorities hit Huawei with racketeering and a litany of other charges, ranging from misappropriating intellectual property from U.S. tech companies to bypassing sanctions and doing business with North Korea and Iran. Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News, "Senate passes bill providing $1 billion for rural telecom networks to replace Huawei," 28 Feb. 2020 In an interview in January 2018, Pineda denied stealing money or misappropriating the attorney's personal identifying information. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hales Corners business owner convicted of embezzling $30,000 from her former employer," 11 Feb. 2020 Unfortunately, misappropriating history is a common occurrence for certain portions of the American right. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Non-Fascist Case for Classical Architecture," 10 Feb. 2020 Razak is Aziz’s stepfather, and Belfort’s lawyers contend that Aziz acquired the rights to his story with funding misappropriated from 1MDB. Christian Holub, EW.com, "The Wolf of Wall Street," 24 Jan. 2020

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

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Misappropriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misappropriate. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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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