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[al-uh-keyt] /ˈæl əˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), allocated, allocating.
to set apart for a particular purpose; assign or allot:
to allocate funds for new projects.
to fix the place of; locate.
Origin of allocate
1630-40; < Medieval Latin allocātus (past participle of allocāre), equivalent to al- al- + loc(us) place + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
allocator, noun
deallocate, verb (used with object), deallocated, deallocating.
reallocate, verb (used with object), reallocated, reallocating.
unallocated, adjective
1. See assign. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for allocating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How are you to subdivide these magisterial districts for the purpose of allocating members?

    Liberalism and the Social Problem Winston Spencer Churchill
  • It consists in taking the whole performance to pieces and allocating the praise.

    Faces in the Fire Frank W. Boreham
  • In the face of all this the colonies were conspicuously and notoriously unable to agree upon any principle of allocating grants.

    The Story of Newfoundland Frederick Edwin Smith, Earl of Birkenhead
  • allocating three percent or less of GDP for defense could easily prove to be a ceiling and not a floor.

    Shock and Awe Harlan K. Ullman
  • The bill was accompanied by a financial scheme for a new system of allocating the parliamentary grant.

British Dictionary definitions for allocating


verb (transitive)
to assign or allot for a particular purpose
a less common word for locate (sense 2)
Derived Forms
allocatable, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin allocāre, from Latin locāre to place, from locus a place
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for allocating



1630s, from verbal used of adjective allocate (mid-15c. in legal use), from Medieval Latin allocate (the common first word of writs authorizing payment), imperative plural of allocare "allocate," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + locare "to place" (see locate). Related: Allocated; allocating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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