What It Means
1 : to deprive of possession or proprietary rights
2 : to transfer (the property of another) to one's own possession
The city council rejected a proposal to expropriate private property for the highway expansion.
"Newspapers, in particular, have had their content unfairly expropriated by the lords of the internet, even as the advertising that once sustained the news business has been snatched away by the same online behemoths." — David Horsey, The Seattle Times,18 Mar. 2021
Did You Know?
If you guessed that expropriate has something in common with the verb appropriate, you're right. Both words ultimately derive from the Latin adjective proprius, meaning "own." Expropriate came to English by way of the Medieval Latin verb expropriare, itself from Latin ex- ("out of" or "from") and proprius. Appropriate descends from Late Latin appropriare, which joins proprius and Latin ad- ("to" or "toward"). Both the verb appropriate ("to take possession of" or "to set aside for a particular use") and the adjective appropriate ("fitting" or "suitable") have been with us since the 15th century, and expropriate was officially appropriated in the 17th century. Other proprius descendants in English include proper and property.
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What 6-letter verb begins with "d" and is a synonym of expropriate?VIEW THE ANSWER
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