1

delegate

noun del·e·gate \ ˈde-li-gət , -ˌgāt \

Definition of delegate

:a person acting for another: such as
a :a representative to a convention or conference
  • U.N. delegates from African nations
  • The nominee netted a handful of delegates in the state's caucus.
b government :a representative of a U.S. territory in the House of Representatives
c government :a member of the lower house of the legislature of Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia

delegate was our Word of the Day on 06/09/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of delegate in a Sentence

  1. the U.N. delegates from African countries

  2. He's been chosen as a delegate to the convention.

Recent Examples of delegate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delegate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of delegate

Middle English delegat, from Medieval Latin delegatus, from Latin, past participle of delegare to delegate, from de- + legare to send — more at legate


2

delegate

verb del·e·gate \ -ˌgāt \

Definition of delegate

delegated; delegating
transitive verb
1 :to entrust to another
  • delegate authority
  • delegated the task to her assistant
2 :to appoint as one's representative
intransitive verb
:to assign responsibility or authority
  • a good manager knows how to delegate

delegatee

play \ˌde-li-gə-ˈtē\ noun

delegator

play \ˈde-li-ˌgā-tər\ noun

Examples of delegate in a Sentence

  1. A manager should delegate authority to the best employees.

  2. Those chores can be delegated to someone else.

  3. He doesn't delegate very well.

Recent Examples of delegate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delegate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

To "delegate" is literally or figuratively to send another in one's place, an idea that is reflected in the word’s origin; it is a descendant of Latin legare, meaning "to send as an emissary." Other English words that can be traced back to "legare" include "legate" ("a usually official emissary"), "legacy," "colleague," and "relegate." The noun delegate, meaning "a person acting for another," entered English in the 15th century, followed by the verb in the next century.

Origin and Etymology of delegate

delegate Synonyms

Synonyms
commission, depute, deputize
Antonyms
hold, keep, retain
Related Words
assign, charge; appoint, designate, name, nominate
Near Antonyms
abrogate; abdicate

DELEGATE Defined for English Language Learners

delegate

noun

Definition of delegate for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is chosen or elected to vote or act for others


delegate

verb

Definition of delegate for English Language Learners

  • : to give (control, responsibility, authority, etc.) to someone : to trust someone with (a job, duty, etc.)

  • : to choose (someone) to do something


DELEGATE Defined for Kids

1

delegate

noun del·e·gate \ ˈde-li-gət \

Definition of delegate for Students

:a person sent with power to act for another or others

2

delegate

verb del·e·gate \ ˈde-lə-ˌgāt \

Definition of delegate for Students

delegated; delegating
1 :to entrust to another
  • The voters delegate power to their elected officials.
2 :to make responsible for getting something done
  • We were delegated to clean up.

Law Dictionary

1

delegate

noun del·e·gate \ ˈde-li-gət \

legal Definition of delegate

:a person empowered to act on behalf of another: as
a :a person who is authorized to perform another's duties under a contract
b :a representative to a convention (as of a political party) or conference
c :a representative of a U.S. territory in the House of Representatives
d :a member of the lower house of the legislature of Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia

Origin and Etymology of delegate

Medieval Latin delegatus, from Latin, past participle of delegare to appoint, put in charge


2

delegate

verb del·e·gate \ ˈde-li-ˌgāt \

legal Definition of delegate

delegated; delegating
transitive verb
1 :to entrust or transfer (as power, authority, or responsibility) to another: as
a :to transfer (one's contractual duties) to another
b :to empower a body (as an administrative agency) to perform (a governmental function) — see also nondelegation doctrine
2 :to appoint as one's representative
intransitive verb
:to transfer responsibility or authority


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up delegate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

readily predictable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!