Appropriation (Eminent Domain) Law and Legal Definition

Appropriation is the taking of private property for public use under the power of eminent domain. It is the power of the state to appropriate property for public use, upon payment of just compensation. It may be exercised directly by the state itself, or the state may, in the exercise of the power, select particular agencies, either natural persons or corporations, on whom it confers the right to take private property for public use.

There may be an appropriation of the rights of ownership in a particular piece of land, the entire interest of the former owner thus passing to the appropriator, or a right merely to use the land for the particular public purpose may be acquired.

When the words appropriate or appropriation are used in condemnation proceedings, the passing of a fee-simple title is indicated. [City of Cushing V. Gillespie, 1953 OK 121 (Okla. 1953)]