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.

Examples of appellation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web County lines and appellation lines don’t necessarily match up. Jeff Burkhart, The Mercury News, 20 May 2024 While there are outstanding wines worth buying in every appellation, from famous names to good values, many châteaux missed the mark. Elin McCoy, Fortune Europe, 11 May 2024 After debating what to name the product for the better part of a year, the team settled on its eventual appellation: POLLEN. Gabriela Riccardi, Quartz, 8 May 2024 Although the appellation is young, Cabardès wines have a long history within France. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for appellation 

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 15 Jun. 2024.

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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