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

to put to a wrong use.
to apply wrongfully or dishonestly, as funds entrusted to one's care.

Origin of misappropriate

First recorded in 1855–60; mis-1 + appropriate
Related formsmis·ap·pro·pri·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for misappropriate

Historical Examples of misappropriate

  • It is unconscionable that Khalid should misappropriate Party funds.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • He was still firm in his refusal to misappropriate those heirlooms.

    Zuleika Dobson

    Max Beerbohm

  • In one case, an absolutely different title, a misappropriate title, was substituted.

    Martin Eden

    Jack London

  • I asked her if it would not be very easy for him to misappropriate a scudo now and then.

  • Am I willing to be a thief and misappropriate their physical, mental and moral heritage?

British Dictionary definitions for misappropriate



(tr) to appropriate for a wrong or dishonest use; embezzle or steal
Derived Formsmisappropriation, noun
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 misappropriate

1803, from mis- (1) + appropriate (v.). Related: Misappropriated; misappropriating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper