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[eks-proh-pree-eyt] /ɛksˈproʊ priˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), expropriated, expropriating.
to take possession of, especially for public use by the right of eminent domain, thus divesting the title of the private owner:
The government expropriated the land for a recreation area.
to dispossess (a person) of ownership:
The revolutionary government expropriated the landowners from their estates.
to take (something) from another's possession for one's own use:
He expropriated my ideas for his own article.
Origin of expropriate
1605-15; < Medieval Latin expropriātus separated from one's own (past participle of expropriāre), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + propri(āre) to appropriate (derivative of proprius proper) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
[eks-proh-pree-uh-buh l] /ɛksˈproʊ pri ə bəl/ (Show IPA),
expropriation, noun
expropriationist, adjective, noun
expropriator, noun
de-expropriation, noun
unexpropriable, adjective
unexpropriated, adjective
Can be confused
appropriate, apropos, expropriate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for expropriate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This becomes clear as soon as an attempt is made to expropriate anything.

    The Conquest of Bread Peter Kropotkin
  • Barrs would not come to expropriate his cauliflowers and early potatoes.

    A Tatter of Scarlet S. R. Crockett
  • The Government has the right to expropriate land for the purpose of excavations.

  • To expropriate such owners can by no means be a desire of the Socialistic proletariat.

    Our Revolution Leon Trotzky
  • The State makes him pay taxes; it ventures to expropriate him for the public good.

    Anarchism and Socialism

    George Plechanoff
  • Capitalism has expropriated the human race, the General Strike aims to expropriate capitalism.

  • In taking over the waterways the Realm acquires the right to expropriate, to fix rates, and to administer the river police system.

    The New Germany George Young
British Dictionary definitions for expropriate


verb (transitive)
to deprive (an owner) of (property), esp by taking it for public use See also eminent domain
Derived Forms
expropriable, adjective
expropriation, noun
expropriator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin expropriāre to deprive of possessions, from proprius own
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 expropriate

1610s, back-formation from expropriation, or from earlier adjective (mid-15c.), or from Medieval Latin expropriatus, past participle of expropriare "to deprive of one's own." Related: Expropriated; expropriating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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