de·​late di-ˈlāt How to pronounce delate (audio)
delated; delating
delation noun
delator noun

Did you know?

To delate someone is to "hand down" that person to a court of law. In Latin, delatus is the unlikely-looking past participle of deferre, meaning "to bring down, report, or accuse," which in turn comes from ferre, meaning "to carry." Not surprisingly, our word defer, meaning "to yield to the opinion or wishes of another," can also be traced back to deferre. At one time, in fact, defer and delate had parallel meanings (both could mean "to carry down or away" or "to offer for acceptance"), but those senses are now obsolete. Today, you are most likely to encounter delate or its relatives delation and delator in the context of medieval tribunals, although the words can also relate to modern ecclesiastical tribunals.

Word History


Latin delatus (past participle of deferre to bring down, report, accuse), from de- + latus, past participle of ferre to bear — more at tolerate

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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


Dictionary Entries Near delate

Cite this Entry

“Delate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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