ap·​pel·​la·​tion ˌa-pə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce appellation (audio)
: an identifying name or title : designation
was entitled to the appellation "doctor"
: a geographical name (as of a region, village, or vineyard) under which a winegrower is authorized to identify and market wine
also : the area designated by such a name
archaic : the act of calling by a name

Did you know?

Ask a Frenchman named Jacques his name, and you may very well get the reply, "Je m'appelle Jacques." The French verb appeler means "to call (by a name)," so Jacques' answer literally translates to "I call myself Jacques." Knowing the function of appeler makes it easy to remember that appellation refers to the name or title by which something is called or known. Appeler and appellation also share a common ancestor: Latin appellāre, meaning "to call upon, name, or designate," formed by combining the prefix ad- ("to") with another verb, pellere ("to beat against, push, or strike"). Appellāre is also the root of English's appeal (by way of Anglo-French and Middle English), as well as appellate, which is used to indicate a court where appeals are heard.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The shift signaled the appellation that Camilla would likely be styled by following the historic service this Saturday. Jen Juneau, Peoplemag, 4 May 2023 Or, its names, to be more accurate, because this delectable, delicious, mid-year moon is also known by other appellations just as sweet. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, 23 Apr. 2023 And for fans of still wine, Limoux has an appellation for red and white wines without bubbles. Jill Barth, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2023 The Cornas appellation only permits wine to be made with 100 percent Syrah, and Côte-Rôtie may include up to 20 percent Viognier, which is also white. Mike Desimone And Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 10 Jan. 2023 Minuty, nestled on the glitzy peninsula of Saint-Tropez a half-mile from the Mediterranean Sea, has belonged to the Matton-Farnet family since 1936 and is one of the 18 original crus classés in the Côtes de Provence appellation., 15 Feb. 2023 Her labels are uniformly simplified to eliminate any confusing flimflammery: Just her name, the producer’s name, the appellation and the vintage. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2022 Coteaux Bourguignons is the broadest appellation label for wines from France’s Burgundy region, stretching from Chablis in the north to Beaujolais in the south. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, 4 May 2023 Transgender women in Indonesia are known as waria, an appellation that combines the words for woman (wanita) and man (pria). Seth Mydans,, 25 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'appellation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English appellacyon, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French appellacion, borrowed from Latin appellātiōn-, appellātiō "name, designation, noun, appeal," from appellāre "to speak to, address, apply to for support, refer to a higher authority, call upon, name, designate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action; in sense 2 borrowed from French, going back to Middle French — more at appeal entry 2

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of appellation was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near appellation

Cite this Entry

“Appellation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


ap·​pel·​la·​tion ˌap-ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce appellation (audio)
: an identifying or descriptive name or title
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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