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[adjective uh-proh-pree-it; verb uh-proh-pree-eyt] /adjective əˈproʊ pri ɪt; verb əˈproʊ priˌeɪt/
suitable or fitting for a particular purpose, person, occasion, etc.:
an appropriate example; an appropriate dress.
belonging to or peculiar to a person; proper:
Each played his appropriate part.
verb (used with object), appropriated, appropriating.
to set apart, authorize, or legislate for some specific purpose or use:
The legislature appropriated funds for the university.
to take to or for oneself; take possession of.
to take without permission or consent; seize; expropriate:
He appropriated the trust funds for himself.
to steal, especially to commit petty theft.
Origin of appropriate
1515-25; < Late Latin appropriātus made one's own (past participle of appropriāre), equivalent to Latin ap- ap-1 + propri(us) one's own + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
appropriately, adverb
appropriateness, noun
[uh-proh-pree-ey-tiv, -uh-tiv] /əˈproʊ priˌeɪ tɪv, -ə tɪv/ (Show IPA),
appropriativeness, noun
appropriator, noun
nonappropriative, adjective
quasi-appropriate, adjective
quasi-appropriately, adverb
reappropriate, verb (used with object), reappropriated, reappropriating.
well-appropriated, adjective
Can be confused
appropriate, apropos, expropriate.
1. befitting, apt, meet, felicitous, suited, proper, due, becoming, pertinent. 3. apportion, allocate, assign.
1. unsuitable, inept. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for appropriate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The term Babi is not appropriate to the religion of Baha nor to his followers.

    Bahaism and Its Claims Samuel Graham Wilson
  • The dining-hall was decorated for the occasion with appropriate portraits.

  • Each locality has its own most appropriate kinds, and he who is to plant, can best make the selections most fitted to his use.

    Rural Architecture Lewis Falley Allen
  • But he did not have the work acted; it was sung in costume with a background of appropriate scenery.

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • The most noteworthy feature of the basin has received the appropriate name Hurricane.

    The Yellowstone National Park Hiram Martin Chittenden
British Dictionary definitions for appropriate


adjective (əˈprəʊprɪɪt)
right or suitable; fitting
(rare) particular; own: they had their appropriate methods
verb (transitive) (əˈprəʊprɪˌeɪt)
to take for one's own use, esp illegally or without permission
to put aside (funds, etc) for a particular purpose or person
Derived Forms
appropriable, adjective
appropriately, adverb
appropriateness, noun
appropriative, adjective
appropriator, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin appropriāre to make one's own, from Latin proprius one's own; see proper
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 appropriate

early 15c., "take possession of," from Late Latin appropriatus, past participle of appropriare, adpropriare (c.450) "to make one's own," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + propriare "take as one's own," from proprius "one's own" (see proper). Related: Appropriated; appropriating.


"specially suitable, proper," early 15c., from Latin appropriatus, past participle of appropriare (see appropriate (v.)). Related: Appropriately; appropriateness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for appropriate



liberate (WWI Army)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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