Definition of appropriation in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The action of appropriating something.

    ‘dishonest appropriation of property’
    • ‘The genocide, dehumanisation of the people through forced labour, expropriation of land and appropriation of cattle all contributed to the redefinition of manhood.’
    • ‘Or is it merely appropriation of the latest fad?’
    • ‘The film is humorous at times, yet it ultimately symbolizes something more serious, namely the fine line between white admiration and white appropriation of black culture.’
    • ‘While I know plagiarism, appropriation, copying, etc exist, I also know that every instance of similarity does not equal an instance of compromised professional ethics.’
    • ‘To defend appropriation for a moment, one of the things artists of that generation articulated was the impossibility to conceive of cultural production as anything other than appropriation.’
    • ‘They have smokescreened a programme of violence and intimidation behind appropriation of the Irish language and simplistic slogans but the zealotry can be carried to degrees that are self-defeating.’
    • ‘Generally, what is considered reclamation is rather appropriation or confiscation of what is legitimately and historically part of the waterbodies.’
    • ‘Firstly extending CPOs in this way would be yet another indication of the increased regulation of private property and its easy appropriation by the State.’
    • ‘‘It needn't be a vehicle for retribution, just somewhere where tales of white appropriation of black culture, not to mention outright theft, can finally be laid to rest’.’
    • ‘As one moves further from the Wiccan mainstream, neopaganism's eclectic quality - its status as a religion of appropriation - becomes yet more obvious.’
    • ‘To use that intellectual property for private purposes - or not to share that information with the public - is just as serious an offence against the public as any other appropriation of public property for private purposes.’
    • ‘American culture, the editors argue, has been developed in the ‘flux of appropriation and contrast from and with the margins of society.’’
    • ‘I mean, white kids in Vancouver are so far removed from the Black and Puerto Rican urban centres which originally spawned hip-hop culture that a certain amount of appropriation was inevitable.’
    • ‘This provides that a person's appropriation of another's property is not to be regarded as dishonest if he believes that he has the right in law to deprive the other of it.’
    • ‘I feel very strongly that these changes should be made because rock music is one of the few means of expression that remains a strong voice, despite the effects of co-option and appropriation.’
    • ‘He believes cultural appropriation is ‘artistically wrong.’’
    • ‘Looting of their properties and appropriation of their business establishments are undertaken to ensure that they do not return.’
    • ‘Issues of cultural appropriation and colonialism come to the surface against a backdrop of often confusing or nonsensical vignettes from various Tintin stories.’
    • ‘After all, technologically ambitious image making has always developed in two complementary and competing paths: as overwhelming presentation in a public space and as private appropriation.’
    • ‘But if the rumours are true that all white pop music is watered-down corporate-led cynical appropriation of black culture, the suits have done a pretty good job in turning in a formula that works both ways.’
    1. 1.1The deliberate reworking of images and styles from earlier, well-known works of art.
      ‘the hallmark of postmodernism has turned out to be appropriation’
      • ‘When all the shouting is over, it is hard to say what lingers: the dialogue with appropriation, which is like a secret language between artists, or a timeless tragedy of American marriage and mores.’
      • ‘The compelling visuality of the work of art resists appropriation by either the cleverness of historical explanations or the eloquence of descriptive language.’
      • ‘What's tricky is that people can conflate those ideas about collage and appropriation and art and culture with ideas about downloading and file-sharing.’
      • ‘The appropriation of Greek monuments and statuary continued.’
      • ‘The Western appropriation of communist kitsch thrived during the Cold War, for purposes both earnest and ironic, and it has not abated since then.’
      • ‘She presents her appropriation of pornographic images of women, taken directly from porn magazines, as a reaction against the conservative religious values of her native Egypt.’
      • ‘Imitation began with the study of ancient and modern masterworks, paid honor to other artists through appropriation of their motifs, and challenged one to discern and represent the best parts of nature.’
      • ‘The power of this image has begun a trend of appropriation within art culture.’
      • ‘Many of the works on the political side of the spectrum relied on fragmentation, appropriation and postmodern distancing to make their points.’
      • ‘How do we evaluate this work in light of the questions of authorship, appropriation, and identity which have motivated much of the most progressive art of the last twenty-five years.’
      • ‘In this sense, one of the primary postconceptualist strategy, appropriation, was deployed rapaciously upon Conceptual art itself.’
      • ‘The appropriation and resignification of images and other cultural products, of course, is a common cross-cultural occurrence.’
      • ‘Both the copies and the rubbings are completely different in spirit from postmodernist appropriation.’
      • ‘More specifically, there are signs that the photographer put an idiosyncratic and skeptical spin on his appropriation of various graphic tactics and values.’
      • ‘Ten years ago, Exotica was pop's graveyard: now it's a musical interzone, where a hundred questions about purism, authenticity, appropriation, art and fun pop up and fall back into the lounge bar chatter.’
      • ‘She plays with the problem by knowing that art cannot simply or purely give voice to the voiceless, and that if the voiceless are to have a voice, and in particular their own, they can only have it through art's appropriation.’
      • ‘Indeed, appropriation may be what her work is principally about: even the seeming originality of the digital elements depends on a prior image source.’
      • ‘Techniques such as appropriation and collaging originated in the Arts, with the Cubists, Dadaists, and Surrealists at the beginning of the twentieth century.’
      • ‘One can never forget how much he rejected or ignored during the years spanned by this collection, from Pop art and Minimalism to photo-based art and appropriation decades later.’
      • ‘Because of the role celebrities play in our society, the creative appropriation of celebrity images can also be an important avenue for individual expression.’
  • 2A sum of money allocated officially for a particular use.

    ‘success in obtaining appropriations for projects’
    [as modifier] ‘the appropriation accounts’
    • ‘The remaining $11.1 million will come from state appropriations for capital projects.’
    • ‘I think there will be money in a supplemental appropriation as early as next week.’
    • ‘Thus air defense planners competed against fellow Army Air Forces officers in the struggle to obtain appropriations.’
    • ‘The requirement of a legislative appropriation applies to an expenditure by the Crown to perform a contract no less than an expenditure for any other purpose.’
    • ‘Significant lags, for example, exist between appropriations for state construction projects and actual construction activity.’
    • ‘Budget allocations and appropriations must be made individually during each year of the program.’
    • ‘A much bigger threat to our freedom is an overweening state that plays on our fears to justify the appropriation of even more money to special interests, the mobilization of which will ensure that it stays in power.’
    • ‘The bill called for a modest appropriation of five million dollars per year to launch the project.’
    • ‘And Mary and I attended one of her workshops to learn how to get appropriations for work-well projects in our state.’
    • ‘Some in Congress are trying to find a steadier funding stream for port security than appropriations.’
    • ‘Congress actually passed a bill which made Sunday closing a condition for the appropriation of federal money.’
    • ‘To make the appropriation of sale tax revenue more palatable, proponents labeled it a ‘sporting goods’ tax.’
    • ‘Besides, billions of dollars already pay for infrastructure through bonds, direct appropriations and federal funding.’
    • ‘I want to talk about an issue that relates to the appropriations and where more money will be sent.’
    • ‘Despite these cuts and the appropriation of local tax revenues, the state government will have to borrow $17.2 billion through bond sales and pass on $8 billion in debt to the next fiscal year.’
    • ‘So he's going to remind us that our homeland is more secure, but it needs to be even more secure yet, meaning appropriations of money.’
    • ‘The responsibility rests entirely with Congress allocating the appropriations required and with the executive branch of the Government.’
    • ‘And last week, a Senate subcommittee on homeland security appropriations tried to cut funding to mass transit.’
    • ‘And a private member's bill is legislation covering anything other than legislation imposing or varying a tax or requiring the appropriation of revenue.’
    • ‘Although Congress has scrutinized the subsidy almost annually and until 1993 required annual renewals, its character as a tax appropriation has made the subsidy less publicly visible.’
    acquisition, acquiring, obtaining, gaining, earning, winning, securing, procuring, procurement
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from late Latin appropriatio(n-), from appropriare make one's own (see appropriate).