Appropriate vs Misappropriate - What's the difference?

appropriate | misappropriate |

As verbs the difference between appropriate and misappropriate

is that appropriate is (archaic) to make suitable; to suit while misappropriate is to use something wrongly, or illegally.

As an adjective appropriate

is (obsolete) set apart for a particular use or person; reserved.




(en adjective)
  • (obsolete) Set apart for a particular use or person; reserved.
  • Hence, belonging peculiarly; peculiar; suitable; fit; proper.
  • The headmaster wondered what an appropriate measure would be to make the pupil behave better.
  • * (Beilby Porteus)
  • in its strict and appropriate meaning
  • * (Edward Stillingfleet)
  • appropriate acts of divine worship
  • * (John Locke)
  • It is not at all times easy to find words appropriate to express our ideas.
  • 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.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011
  • , date=November 10 , author=Jeremy Wilson , title= England Under 21 5 Iceland Under 21 0: match report , work=Telegraph citation , page= , passage=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. }}
    * (suited for) apt, felicitous, fitting, suitable
    * (all senses) inappropriate
    Derived terms
    * appropriateness


  • (archaic) To make suitable; to suit.
  • (William Paley)
  • To take to oneself in exclusion of others; to claim or use as by an exclusive right.
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=5 , passage=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.}}
  • To set apart for, or assign to, a particular person or use, in exclusion of all others; with to'' or ''for .
  • * 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.
  • (transitive, British, ecclesiastical, legal) To annex, as a benefice, to a spiritual corporation, as its property.
  • (Blackstone)




  • To use something wrongly, or illegally
  • To embezzle
  • Synonyms

    (use wrongly) * misuse (embezzle) * defalcate * embezzle * peculate