October 29, 2011
allocate (verb)
\AL-uh-kayt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to divide and distribute for a special reason or to particular persons or things2 : to set apart for a particular purpose
How do you use it?
This fall, Brett's school is raising money that will be allocated among several local charities.
Are you a word wiz?

Which of these roots do you think is the ancestor of "allocate"?

If you placed your bets on A as the answer, you guessed right. "Locus" means "place," and it's a Latin word that has had a hand in the creation of several English words. Among the most common "locus" words are "local," as in "We like to read the local news," and "locate," as in "Can you locate your city on the map?" Another "locus" word is "dislocate," which most often is used to mean "to put out of place" and is used especially in reference to displacing a bone from normal connections with another bone. The Latin word "locus" was also borrowed directly as the English word "locus," meaning "location."
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