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[uh-proh-pree-ey-shuh n] /əˌproʊ priˈeɪ ʃən/
the act of appropriating.
anything appropriated for a special purpose, especially money.
an act of a legislature authorizing money to be paid from the treasury for a specified use.
the money thus authorized:
a large appropriation for aid to libraries.
1325-75; Middle English (< Middle French) < Late Latin appropriātiōn- (stem of appropriātiō). See appropriate, -ion
Related forms
proappropriation, adjective
reappropriation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for appropriations
  • But the thing is, they've been doing logo appropriations for years.
  • Aircraft purchases went up less than nine percent versus seventy-five percent growth in aircraft appropriations.
  • These were left to chance or to subsequent municipal appropriations out of other funds.
  • They do not include commercial projects, which local governments often use to justify land appropriations.
  • Most of the land appropriations take place in the more developed coastal areas, or around big cities.
  • For now, the overall prospects for both appropriations still look good.
  • Revenues to operate budgets for public universities consist largely of state appropriations and student tuition.
  • Also, multi-year appropriations are generally prohibited on the federal level.
  • But his manipulations and appropriations served carefully calculated expressive ends.
  • Figures include state tax appropriations, other state monies, and federal stimulus monies.
British Dictionary definitions for appropriations


the act of setting apart or taking for one's own use
a sum of money set apart for a specific purpose, esp by a legislature
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 appropriations



late 14c., "taking (something) as private property," from Late Latin appropriationem (nominative appropriatio) "a making one's own," noun of action from past participle stem of appropriare (see appropriate). Meaning "setting aside for some purpose" (especially of money) first attested 1789 in U.S. Constitution.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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appropriations in Culture

appropriation definition

The grant of money by a legislature for some specific purpose. The authority to grant appropriations, popularly known as the power of the purse, gives legislatures a powerful check over executive branches and judicial branches, for no public money can be spent without legislative approval. Congress, for example, can approve or reject the annual budget requests of the executive branch for its agencies and programs, thereby influencing both domestic and foreign policy. (See also checks and balances and pork-barrel legislation.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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