[ uh-proh-pree-ey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: appropriationappropriations on

  1. the act of appropriating or taking possession of something, often without permission or consent.

  2. anything appropriated for a special purpose, especially money.

  1. an act of a legislature authorizing money to be paid from the treasury for a specified use.

  2. the money thus authorized: a large appropriation for aid to libraries.

Origin of appropriation

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English, from Middle French or Late Latin appropriātiōn- (stem of appropriātiō ). See appropriate, -ion

Other words from appropriation

  • pro·ap·pro·pri·a·tion, adjective
  • re·ap·pro·pri·a·tion, noun

Words Nearby appropriation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use appropriation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for appropriation


/ (əˌprəʊprɪˈeɪʃən) /

  1. the act of setting apart or taking for one's own use

  2. 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

Cultural definitions for appropriation


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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.