Meaning of “appropriate” in the English Dictionary

"appropriate" in British English

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uk /əˈprəʊ.pri.ət/ us /əˈproʊ.pri.ət/

B2 suitable or right for a particular situation or occasion:

appropriate footwear for the country
Is this film appropriate for small children?
I didn't think his comments were very appropriate at the time.
Is this an appropriate occasion to discuss finance?
Please complete the appropriate parts of this form (= the parts that are right or necessary for your particular situation) and return it as soon as possible.

More examples

  • You would be well-advised to have the appropriate vaccinations before you go abroad.
  • What would be an appropriate course of action in such a situation?
  • We will provide help whenever you deem it appropriate.
  • Here is a list of possible answers. Please delete as appropriate.
  • The EU has issued guidelines on appropriate levels of pay for part-time manual workers.
adverb uk /əˈprəʊ.pri.ə us /əˈproʊ.pri.ə


  • If you want well-qualified staff, you will have to pay them appropriately.
  • Children gradually learn how to behave appropriately in various social situations.
  • There is a new horror series on TV which begins, appropriately enough, on Halloween.
  • The Prince stayed, rather appropriately, at The Royal Hotel.
  • Some of the cleaners are not appropriately trained for working in a hospital.


She didn't think we were appropriately dressed for a wedding.
noun [ U ] uk /əˈprəʊ.pri.ət.nəs/ us /əˈproʊ.pri.ət.nəs/

appropriateverb [ T ]

uk /əˈprəʊ.pri.eɪt/ us /əˈproʊ.pri.eɪt/ formal

(Definition of “appropriate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"appropriate" in American English

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us /əˈproʊ·pri·ət/

appropriate adjective (CORRECT)

correct or right for a particular situation or occasion:

Punishment should be appropriate to the crime.
I don’t have any appropriate clothes.
adverb us /əˈproʊ·pri·ət·li/

Those kids aren’t appropriately dressed for the cold.
noun [ U ] us /əˈproʊ·pri·ət·nəs/

I wonder about the appropriateness of borrowing money from my brother.

appropriateverb [ T ]

us /əˈproʊ·priˌeɪt/

appropriate verb [ T ] (TAKE)

to take and use for a purpose:

The state appropriated funds for more clinics.

Appropriate also means to steal:

He lost his job after he appropriated some of the company’s money.

(Definition of “appropriate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)