verb (used with object), ex·pro·pri·at·ed, ex·pro·pri·at·ing.

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 formsex·pro·pri·a·ble [eks-proh-pree-uh-buh l] /ɛksˈproʊ pri ə bəl/, adjectiveex·pro·pri·a·tion, nounex·pro·pri·a·tion·ist, adjective, nounex·pro·pri·a·tor, nounde-ex·pro·pri·a·tion, nounun·ex·pro·pri·a·ble, adjectiveun·ex·pro·pri·at·ed, adjective
Can be confusedappropriate apropos expropriate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expropriate

Contemporary Examples of expropriate

Historical Examples of expropriate

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for expropriate


verb (tr)

to deprive (an owner) of (property), esp by taking it for public useSee also eminent domain
Derived Formsexpropriable, adjectiveexpropriation, nounexpropriator, noun

Word Origin for expropriate

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

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