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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for expropriation
Historical Examples
  • In fact, "the whole question of expropriation is tacitly ignored in the literature of Christian Socialism."

    British Socialism J. Ellis Barker
  • The expropriation of peasants is in full swing in Austria also.

    Woman and Socialism August Bebel
  • Let us suppose that in a certain country a limited form of expropriation is effected.

    The Conquest of Bread Peter Kropotkin
  • A new system of expropriation has been adopted since 1910 by the City.

    Montreal 1535-1914, Volume II (of 2) William Henry Atherton
  • Let us see what the Socialist poets think of the expropriation of property-owners.

    British Socialism J. Ellis Barker
  • They will destroy the State, and will urge on the people to the expropriation of the rich.

    Anarchism and Socialism George Plechanoff
  • We knew nothing of that process of expropriation and the exploitation of labor which is giving the world the Servile State.

    The Passionate Friends Herbert George Wells
  • For, after all, it is interest which impoverishes the peasant and leads to his expropriation.

    What is Property? P. J. Proudhon
  • What is the law of expropriation on the ground of public utility, which everybody favors, and which is even thought too lenient?

    What is Property? P. J. Proudhon
  • Consequently, the expropriation of the capitalists would bring no direct and pecuniary gain to the labouring classes.

    Distributive Justice John A. (John Augustine) Ryan
British Dictionary definitions for expropriation


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 expropriation

mid-15c., "renunciation of worldly goods," from Medieval Latin expropriationem (nominative expropriatio), noun of action from Late Latin expropriare "deprive of property," from ex- "away from" (see ex-) + propriare "to appropriate" (see appropriate). Sense of "a taking of someone's property," especially for public use, is from 1848; as Weekley puts it, "Current sense of organized theft appears to have arisen among Ger. socialists."



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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expropriation in Culture

expropriation definition

The taking over of private property by a government, often without fair compensation but usually with a legal assertion that the government has a right to do so.

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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