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

By email, Gluck’s lawyer said that his client had no involvement in misappropriating funds from the school district and looks forward to clearing his name in court. Sarah Schweitzer, The Atlantic, "The Lunch Ladies of New Canaan," 15 Aug. 2019 The mogul behind Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works on Wednesday accused Epstein, his friend and finance manager, of misappropriating more than $46 million. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Victoria's Secret Exec Says Jeffrey Epstein Embezzled More Than $46M," 8 Aug. 2019 The letter was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which put the amount of misappropriated money at more than $46 million. chicagotribune.com, "‘Victoria’s Secret’ titan says Jeffrey Epstein misappropriated ‘vast sums’ of his fortune," 8 Aug. 2019 The Justice Department claims that conspirators misappropriated $4.5 billion from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund to buy jewelry, fine art and real estate, as well as to fund bribes and kickbacks to foreign officials. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Deutsche Bank's latest headache: Its role in Malaysia's 1MDB scandal," 11 July 2019 Her brother, Jim Mulvahill, who lost his law license in 2005 for misappropriating client funds, also works for the company. Josh Verges, Twin Cities, "Costly academic turnaround takes St. Paul charter school from ‘buckets of cash’ to deep in debt," 10 July 2019 At the time of his arrest, Francis was accused of misappropriating more than $300,000. David Owens, courant.com, "Lawyer charged with stealing from clients posts bail and is released from custody," 8 July 2019 Cuyahoga County prosecutors say the financial moves were part of a years-long scheme in which Kingsbury misappropriated more than $1.1 million of her clients’ money. John Caniglia, cleveland.com, "Pepper Pike attorney accused of misappropriating more than $1 million from clients, many with developmental disabilities," 30 June 2019 Ford contends Williamson and CAA conspired to misappropriate her work Throughout the complaint, Drummond stresses the amount of work performed by Ford on Williamson’s behalf. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Analyzing the $100 Million Lawsuit Against Zion Williamson and CAA," 20 June 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

28 Aug 2019

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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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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