Word of the Day : July 23, 2021


verb ek-SPROH-pree-ayt

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.

Name That Synonym

What 6-letter verb begins with "d" and is a synonym of expropriate?



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!