verb (used with object), al·lo·cat·ed, al·lo·cat·ing.

to set apart for a particular purpose; assign or allot: to allocate funds for new projects.
to fix the place of; locate.

Origin of allocate

1630–40; < Medieval Latin allocātus (past participle of allocāre), equivalent to al- al- + loc(us) place + -ātus -ate1
Related formsal·lo·ca·tor, nounde·al·lo·cate, verb (used with object), de·al·lo·cat·ed, de·al·lo·cat··al·lo·cate, verb (used with object), re·al·lo·cat·ed, re·al·lo·cat·ing.un·al·lo·cat·ed, adjective

Synonym study

1. See assign. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for allocating

Contemporary Examples of allocating

  • “It pretty much looks like taking a central solar plant and allocating it across 3,000 roofs,” said Rumido.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Panel Discussion

    The Daily Beast

    September 8, 2014

  • Unlike in years past, more than 40 states are allocating their delegates proportionally, instead of winner take all.

    The Daily Beast logo
    No Clear Path to Victory for Romney

    John Avlon, Ben Jacobs

    March 7, 2012

  • TF: It may be at certain stages of development—for allocating resources, for example.

    The Daily Beast logo
    America Needs a Makeover

    Tony Doukopil

    September 9, 2011

  • It's a very efficient way of allocating resources and capital.

Historical Examples of allocating

  • It consists in taking the whole performance to pieces and allocating the praise.

    Faces in the Fire

    Frank W. Boreham

  • How are you to subdivide these magisterial districts for the purpose of allocating members?

    Liberalism and the Social Problem

    Winston Spencer Churchill

  • In the face of all this the colonies were conspicuously and notoriously unable to agree upon any principle of allocating grants.

    The Story of Newfoundland

    Frederick Edwin Smith, Earl of Birkenhead

  • The bill was accompanied by a financial scheme for a new system of allocating the parliamentary grant.

  • Allocating three percent or less of GDP for defense could easily prove to be a ceiling and not a floor.

    Shock and Awe

    Harlan K. Ullman

British Dictionary definitions for allocating


verb (tr)

to assign or allot for a particular purpose
a less common word for locate (def. 2)
Derived Formsallocatable, adjective

Word Origin for allocate

C17: from Medieval Latin allocāre, from Latin locāre to place, from locus a place
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

Word Origin and History for allocating



1630s, from verbal used of adjective allocate (mid-15c. in legal use), from Medieval Latin allocate (the common first word of writs authorizing payment), imperative plural of allocare "allocate," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + locare "to place" (see locate). Related: Allocated; allocating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper