Definition of expropriate in English:



  • 1 (of the state or an authority) take (property) from its owner for public use or benefit.

    ‘their assets were expropriated by the government’
    • ‘The Government's understanding of that article is that compensation is required generally where property is expropriated.’
    • ‘Drug companies are sitting ducks for governments to expropriate their property.’
    • ‘They can expropriate property through taxes or the right of immanent domain (breaking the Seventh Commandment).’
    • ‘In 1989, municipal authorities under a previous mayor had expropriated 750 acres and evicted thousands of squatters.’
    • ‘They cannot just expropriate property by saying it is compensation for a debt owing for customs unless there is some rational relationship between them.’
    • ‘The republic did expropriate ecclesiastical properties, but Mazzini was sincere in his assurances that property would be respected and unlawful acts punished.’
    • ‘There is no need, George declares, to nationalize the land; it would neither be purchased nor expropriated by the state.’
    • ‘Governments expropriate private property all the time, and they always have.’
    • ‘The Government member says the proposed legislation expropriates customary property rights, and does not propose any form of compensation.’
    • ‘There, a family alleged that its property was expropriated by the Egyptian government in 1977 and then, in 1993, sold to Coca Cola.’
    • ‘He feared that homestead legislation would expropriate land he needed for his college bill.’
    • ‘The state or a competent body or organ authorised by law may expropriate property in the public interest subject to the payment of just compensation.’
    • ‘In regard to agriculture, it reserved to itself the authority to expropriate any farm that did not produce foodstuffs to its satisfaction.’
    • ‘Once the board was established, its enormous powers to expropriate property and enter the real-estate market provided a new momentum to urban segregation.’
    • ‘I do not understand how the court can have the power to produce such a result as it effectively expropriates my property.’
    • ‘The City will then reconsider the resolution to expropriate the property,’ he says.’
    • ‘As China grows into a great power, the wealth transferred into the country by expropriating intellectual property will propel it forward.’
    • ‘In short, were properties expropriated or were they not?’
    • ‘He charged that he had personally expropriated the family's property and business interests, which were the foundation of the his multimillion-dollar personal fortune.’
    • ‘Few governments place massive restrictions on direct foreign investments or attempt to expropriate property from foreign firms located within their borders.’
    seize, take away, take over, take, appropriate, take possession of, requisition, commandeer, claim, make claim to, assume, acquire, sequestrate, wrest
    impound, confiscate
    misappropriate, usurp, arrogate, hijack
    distrain, disseize, attach
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Dispossess (someone) of property.
      ‘the measures expropriated the landlords’
      • ‘Should rich peasants be wholly expropriated or should they be given a share of the redistributed land, and if so should this be land of average quality or poor land?’
      • ‘The entire wealth of the people was expropriated.’
      • ‘The letters marked the first time that the government has moved to expropriate farms under its land-reform programme.’
      • ‘It aroused the envy of some of the other villagers, who talked darkly of when the revolution came and they could expropriate us and the owners of the castle up the road.’
      • ‘By that time a number of landlords were only too glad to sell up and be expropriated.’
      • ‘As a result, the government took away two of his power companies and a bank, and threatened to expropriate his family.’
      • ‘The union last month said it planned to forcefully occupy the farm outside to protest the government's failure to implement a decision to expropriate land owners.’
      • ‘The president was concerned to withstand pressure to expropriate white farmers, but struggled to maintain national unity as he was faced with public discontent.’
      • ‘You falsified our names and we were expropriated.’
      • ‘The letters mark the first time since land reforms began in 1996 that the government has taken steps to expropriate farmers.’
      • ‘But the leaders will not expropriate anyone or close any of the mass media.’
      • ‘In that way the tourist will not be expropriating the thief of the camera because it doesn't belong to him (the thief) in the first place.’
      • ‘Economic progress was thus fastest in England, where landlords expropriated the peasants and created a dynamic agrarian capitalism.’


Late 16th century: from medieval Latin expropriat- taken from the owner, from the verb expropriare, from ex- out, from + proprium property, neuter singular of proprius own.