Word of the DayWednesday, October 01, 2003
\ek-SPROH-pree-ayt\ , transitive verb;
To deprive of possession.
To transfer (the property of another) to oneself.
Very few voters, after all, really believe Europe's new generation of social democratic leaders are wild Bolsheviks plotting to expropriate their Toyotas.
-- Fintan O'Toole, "The last gasp of social democracy", Irish Times, March 19, 1999
The Spanish constitution declared the country "a democratic republic of workers of all classes" and laid down that property might be expropriated "for social uses."
-- Mark Mazower, Dark Continent
Farmlands that had belonged to Bosnia's Muslim beys . . . and agas were expropriated without compensation and handed over to their former tenant sharecroppers.
-- Chuck Sudetic, Blood and Vengeance
Expropriate comes from Medieval Latin expropriatus, past participle of expropriare, "to deprive of property," from Latin ex- + proprius, "one's own." The act of expropriating is expropriation. One who expropriates is an expropriator.
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