Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To set apart for a special purpose; designate: allocate a room to be used for storage.
  • transitive v. To distribute according to a plan; allot: allocate rations for a week-long camping trip.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To set aside for a purpose
  • v. To distribute according to a plan
  • v. To declare a section of the memory to be used by the program.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To distribute or assign; to allot.
  • transitive v. To localize.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To assign or allot; set apart for a particular purpose; distribute: as, to allocate shares in a public company.
  • To fix the place of; locate; localize.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. distribute according to a plan or set apart for a special purpose

Etymologies

Medieval Latin allocāre, allocāt- : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin locāre, to place (from locus, place).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Vulgar Latin allocare, from ad- ("to") + locus ("place"), plus Latinate English suffix +‎ -ate. Compare allocable, without the -ate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • M 42.4 and then they go on to 'allocate' undecideds, by giving Obama 4%, McCain 2%.

    Final Marist Poll: Obama 52%, McCain 43%

  • Clinton and Obama have rejected calls from utilities and other businesses to "allocate" the initial polluting rights based on a company's current emissions.

    Next President Needs to Uncap

  • An organization with a captive market could "allocate" its cost to another in the form of a "price" that the agency charged cannot control.

    Npr Monograph On Financial Management Part B

  • This nuance seemed to add considerably to the picture of Northern Ireland's population (though NISRA used some slightly questionable methodologies to 'allocate' those who resisted allocation).

    Irish Blogs

  • Only the garbage collector can "allocate" objects in generation 1 (by promoting survivors from generation 0) and generation 2 (by promoting survivors from generations 1 and 2).

    MSDN Magazine: RSS Feed

  • CASE IN POINT Obama tapped VP Joe Biden to "allocate" the stimulus $$trillions.

    Latest Articles

  • Strictly speaking, we allocate people to pews on the basis of the religious identification of the people, not on the basis of what pews they are actually sitting in.

    American Grace

  • Other governments have announced that they, too, plan to allocate millions of dollars to the poor; and Arab leaders are rushing to set up a $2 billion fund to support their economies.

    After the Revolution, Economic Reform

  • But Baring said that even though investors are keen to allocate capital to its Asian fund, it might not be the right time to sign many more deals as competition heats up.

    Baring Raises $2.46 Billion

  • The level of priority a project is given, or the way a project is carried out should not depend on the amount of money the supporting organization or institution is willing to allocate to it.

    Chad W. Bissonnette: A New Mandate for Development in Haiti

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