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appropriate definition


This page has 8 definitions of appropriate in English and Italian. Appropriate is an adjective and verb. Examples of how to use appropriate in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English appropriate definition


From Middle English appropriaten, borrowed from Latin appropriatus, past participle of approprio (to make one's own), from ad (to) + proprio (to make one's own), from proprius (one's own, private).




appropriate (comparative more appropriate, superlative most appropriate)

  1. Suitable or fit; proper.
    The headmaster wondered what an appropriate measure would be to make the pupil behave better.
    • 1798-1801, Beilby Porteus, Lecture XI delivered in the Parish Church of St. James, Westminster
      in its strict and appropriate meaning
    • 1710, Edward Stillingfleet, Several Conferences Between a Romish Priest, a Fanatick Chaplain, and a Divine of the Church of England Concerning the Idolatry of the Church of Rome
      appropriate acts of divine worship
    • 2011 February 1, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction[1], Wesleyan University Press, →ISBN, pages 102-103:
      But some discussion of the complex relationship between “allohistory” and sf is appropriate here, as the genres overlap in certain ways. Classical allohistory— such as Trevelyan's "What if Napoleon had won the Battle of Waterloo?" and Churchill's "If Lee had not won the Battle of Gettysburg" —is a rigorously consistent thought-experiment in historical causality.
  2. Suitable to the social situation or to social respect or social discreetness; socially correct; socially discreet; well-mannered; proper.
    I don't think it was appropriate for the cashier to tell me out loud in front of all those people at the check-out that my hair-piece looked like it was falling out of place.
    While it is not considered appropriate for a professor to date his student, there is no such concern once the semester has ended.
    • 2011 November 10, Jeremy Wilson, “England Under 21 5 Iceland Under 21 0: match report”, in Telegraph[2]:
      With such focus from within the footballing community this week on Remembrance Sunday, there was something appropriate about Colchester being the venue for last night’s game. Troops from the garrison town formed a guard of honour for both sets of players, who emerged for the national anthem with poppies proudly stitched into their tracksuit jackets.
  3. (obsolete) Set apart for a particular use or person; reserved.



Derived terms

Related terms



appropriate (third-person singular simple present appropriates, present participle appropriating, simple past and past participle appropriated)

  1. (transitive) To take to oneself; to claim or use, especially as by an exclusive right.
    Let no man appropriate the use of a common benefit.
    • 1837, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Ethel Churchill, volume 2, page 179:
      "I promise you," said she, after a pause of some minutes, "to wear the last new dress you gave me, it is a triumph of taste!"
      Lord Marchmont bowed, and appropriated the compliment as if the taste had been his own, not the milliner's.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter V, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
      We made an odd party before the arrival of the Ten, particularly when the Celebrity dropped in for lunch or dinner. He could not be induced to remain permanently at Mohair because Miss Trevor was at Asquith, but he appropriated a Hempstead cart from the Mohair stables and made the trip sometimes twice in a day.
    • 1962 December, “Motive Power Miscellany: North Eastern Region”, in Modern Railways, pages 422, 425:
      On the morning after the one-day strike, October 4, one of the Type 4s on crew-training, No. D169, was appropriated to head the 3 a.m. mail to Hull, as no steam locomotive had been lit up and the usual Hull Type 3 was not available; [...].
  2. (transitive) To set apart for, or assign to, a particular person or use, especially in exclusion of all others; with to or for.
    A spot of ground is appropriated for a garden.
    to appropriate money for the increase of the navy
    • 2012, The Washington Post, David Nakamura and Tom Hamburger, "Put armed police in every school, NRA urges"
      "I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation," LaPierre said.
  3. (transitive, Britain, ecclesiastical, law) To annex (for example a benefice, to a spiritual corporation, as its property).
  4. (transitive, archaic) To make suitable to; to suit.
    • 1790, Helen Maria Williams, Julia, Routledge 2016, p. 67:
      Under the towers were a number of gloomy subterraneous apartments with vaulted roofs, the use of which imagination was left to guess, and could only appropriate to punishment and horror.
    • 1802, William Paley, Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity
      Were we to take a portion of the skin, and contemplate its exquisite sensibility, so finely appropriated [] we should have no occasion to draw our argument, for the twentieth time, from the structure of the eye or the ear.



Further reading

Italian appropriate definition


appropriate f pl

  1. feminine plural of appropriato