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

  • n. The act of appropriating.
  • n. Something appropriated, especially public funds set aside for a specific purpose.
  • n. A legislative act authorizing the expenditure of a designated amount of public funds for a specific purpose.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An act or instance of appropriating
  • n. That which is appropriated
  • n. public funds set aside for a specific purpose
  • n. the use of borrowed elements in the creation of a new work
  • n. the assimilation of concepts into a governing framework

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of setting apart or assigning to a particular use or person, or of taking to one's self, in exclusion of all others; application to a special use or purpose, as of a piece of ground for a park, or of money to carry out some object.
  • n. Anything, especially money, thus set apart.
  • n.
  • n. The severing or sequestering of a benefice to the perpetual use of a spiritual corporation. Blackstone.
  • n. The application of payment of money by a debtor to his creditor, to one of several debts which are due from the former to the latter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of appropriating, setting apart, or assigning to a particular use or person in exclusion of all others; application to a special use or purpose; specifically, an act of a legislature authorizing money to be paid from the treasury for a special use.
  • n. Anything appropriated or set apart for a special purpose, as money.
  • n. . Acquisition; addition.
  • n. In law: The annexing or setting apart of a benefice to the perpetual use of a spiritual corporation.
  • n. The determining to which of several debts a sum of money paid shall be applied.

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

  • n. money set aside (as by a legislature) for a specific purpose
  • n. incorporation by joining or uniting
  • n. a deliberate act of acquisition of something, often without the permission of the owner


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Artists have, of course, been sticky-fingered for ages, long before the term "appropriation art" was ushered into the lexicon to describe the Pictures Generation.

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  • In postmodern ideals, this kind of appropriation is - well, appropriate, fitting, part of the continual process we all go through of assimilating culture and creating new culture based on that assimilation.

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  • The Texas Board of Medical Examiners was so overwhelmed with new physician applications it had to acquire a special appropriation from the legislature to hire more personnel.

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  • Lifting the tuition cap would let universities break even with fewer public handouts, allowing schools to expand, if they so desire, without first seeking an appropriation from the government to do so.

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  • That's because state law prevents any sort of payments – even IOUs – without an appropriation from the Legislature, Jordan said.

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  • Traditional IP law: private appropriation is a precondition for production.

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  • The appropriation from the central budget in this regard totaled 725.3 billion yuan, an increase of 21.8 percent over the previous year.

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  • Although appropriation is an old artistic technique, it is becoming much more common in our media-rich culture, and I would suggest that the growing importance of appropriation is a natural evolution in a society where we are constantly bombarded with images and sound bites.

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  • By the way, has anyone ever heard where the idea of the short term appropriation originated?

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  • Given that nobody wants to repeal the AUMF, which is what really needs to be done, the D's should give up a "clean" short-term appropriation welded at the hip to a withdrawal trigger contingent on benchmarks.

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