Appropriation is the act of taking something, usually without permission, like stealing your brother's french fries when he is momentarily distracted.

Appropriation originally referred to the taking of private property, usually by the government. Nowadays, appropriation can be positive or negative, but generally refers to taking something and making it your own — like your appropriation of different musical styles during your talent show performance or your company’s appropriation of new technology to improve their product. Appropriation can also refer to the setting aside of funds by the government for a specific purpose, like for improving school systems or supporting the arts.

Definitions of appropriation
  1. noun
    a deliberate act of acquisition of something, often without the permission of the owner
    “the necessary funds were obtained by the government's appropriation of the company's operating unit”
    “a person's appropriation of property belonging to another is dishonest”
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    adoption, borrowing
    the appropriation (of ideas or words etc) from another source
    pre-emption, preemption
    a prior appropriation of something
    the taking possession of something by legal process
    requisition, sequestration
    seizing property that belongs to someone else and holding it until profits pay the demand for which it was seized
    naturalisation, naturalization
    changing the pronunciation of a borrowed word to agree with the borrowers' phonology
    wrongful borrowing
    arrogation, confiscation
    seizure by the government
    distraint, distress
    the seizure and holding of property as security for payment of a debt or satisfaction of a claim
    impounding, impoundment, internment, poundage
    placing private property in the custody of an officer of the law
    impress, impressment
    the act of coercing someone into government service
    a legal seizure by the government of profits beyond a fixed amount
    the appropriation of a new style (especially in popular music) by combining elements of different genres in order to appeal to a wider audience
    type of:
    acquiring, getting
    the act of acquiring something
  2. noun
    incorporation by joining or uniting
    synonyms: annexation
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    type of:
    including by incorporating
  3. noun
    money set aside (as by a legislature) for a specific purpose
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    pork, pork barrel
    a legislative appropriation designed to ingratiate legislators with their constituents
    type of:
    the most common medium of exchange; functions as legal tender
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