What is Appropriation?

Legal Definition
In law and government, appropriation (from Latin appropriare, "to make one's own", later "to set aside") is the act of setting apart something for its application to a particular usage, to the exclusion of all other uses.

It typically refers to the legislative designation of money for particular uses, in the context of a budget or spending bill.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
One of several torts falling under the category of invasion_of_privacy. Appropriation occurs when a defendant uses a plaintiff's name, likeness, or image without his or her permission for commercial purposes. When a defendant uses a plaintiff's name or likeness for a newsworthy purpose, however, this does not fall under the tort of appropriation and can be used as a defense by defendants.
Legal Definition
Contracts. The application of the payment of a sum of money, made by a debtor to his creditor, to one of several debts.

2. When a voluntary payment is made, the law permits the debtor in the first place, or, if he make no choice, then it allows the creditor to make an appropriation of such payment to either of several debts which are due by the debtor to the creditor. And if neither make an appropriation, then the law makes the application of such payment. This rule does not apply to payments made under compulsory process of law. 10 Pick. 129. It will be proper to consider, 1, when the debtor may make the appropriation; 2, when the creditor may make it; 3, when it will be made by law.

3. – 1. In general the appropriation may be made by the debtor, but this must be done by his express declaration, or by circumstances from which his intentions can be inferred. 2 C. M. & R. 723; 14 East, 239; 1 Tyrw. & Gr. 137; 15 Wend. 19; 5 Taunt. 7 Wheat. 13; 2 Ear. & Gill, 159; S. C. 4 Gill & Johns. 361; 1 Bibb, 334; 5 Watts, 544; 12 Pick. 463; 20 Pick. 441; 2 Bailey, 617; 4 Mass. 692; 17 Mass. 575. This appropriation, it seems, must be notified to the creditor at the time; for an entry made by the debtor in his own books, is not alone sufficient to determine the application of the payment. 2 Vern. 606; 4 B. & C. 715. In some cases, in consequence of the circumstances, the presumption will be that the payment was made on account of one debt, in preference to another. 3 Caines, 14; 2 Stark. R. 101. And in some cases the debtor has no right to make the appropriation, as, for example, to apply 4 partial payment to the liquidation of the principal, when interest is due. 1 Dall. 124; 1 H. & J. 754; 2 N. & M'C. 395; 1 Pick. 194; 17 Mass. 417.

4. – 2. When the debtor has neglected to make an appropriation, the creditor may, in general, make it, but this is subject to some exceptions. If, for example, the debtor owes a debt as executor, and one in his own right, the creditor cannot appropriate a payment to the liquidation of the former, because that may depend on the question of assets. 2 Str. 1194. See 1 M. & Malk. 40; 9 Cowen, 409; 2 Stark. R. 74; 1 C. & Mees. 33.

5. Though it is not clearly settled in England whether a creditor is bound to make the appropriation immediately, or at a subsequent time Ellis on D. and C. 406-408 yet in the United States, the right to make the application at any time has been recognized, and the creditor is not bound to make an immediate election. 4 Cranch, 317; 9 Cowen, 420, 436. See 12 S. & R. 301 2 B. & C. 65; 2 Verm. 283; 10 Conn. 176.

6. When once made, the appropriation cannot be changed; and, rendering an account, or bringing suit and declaring in a particular way, is evidence of such appropriation. 1 Wash. 128 3 Green. 314; 12
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Eccl. law. The setting apart an ecclesiastical benefice, which is the general property of the church, to the perpetual and proper use of some religious house, bishop or college, dean and chapter and the like. Ayl. Pat. 86. See the form of an appropriation in Jacob's Introd. 411.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The act of appropriating or setting apart; prescribing the destination of a thing; designating the use or application of a fund.

In public law. The act by which the legislative department of government designates a particular fund, or sets apart a specified portion of the public revenue or of the money in the public treasury, to be applied to some general object of governmental expenditure, (as the civil service list, etc.,) or to some individual purchase or expense. State v. Moore, 50 Neb. 88, 69 N. W. 373, 61 Am. St Rep. 538; Clayton v. Berry, 27 Ark. 129.

When money is appropriated (i. e., set apart) for the purpose of securing the payment of a specific debt or class of debts, or for an individual purchase or object of expense, it is said to be specifically appropriated for that purpose. A specific appropriation is an act of the legislature by which a named sum of money has been set apart in the treasury, and devoted to the payment of a particular demand. Stratton v. Green, 45 Cal. 149.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The annexation of a benefice to the use of a church corporation.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary