delegate

noun
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio) , -ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio) \

Definition of delegate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

verb
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio) \
delegated; delegating

Definition of delegate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from delegate

Verb

delegatee \ ˌde-​li-​gə-​ˈtē How to pronounce delegatee (audio) \ noun
delegator \ ˈde-​li-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce delegator (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Verb

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.

Examples of delegate in a Sentence

Noun the U.N. delegates from African countries He's been chosen as a delegate to the convention. Verb A manager should delegate authority to the best employees. Those chores can be delegated to someone else. He doesn't delegate very well.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On March 26, Republicans across Michigan were supposed to gather in county conventions to elect the delegates to the state convention. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Campaigning in the era of coronavirus is bound to change the face of elections forever," 23 Mar. 2020 Under Democratic Party rules, the two men would both be awarded some of the 144 delegates up for grabs based on the statewide total. . Los Angeles Times, "California’s final presidential primary results may be delayed due to coronavirus," 20 Mar. 2020 But for Biden, winning about 83% of the remaining delegates could secure him the nomination. Rick Klein And, ABC News, "The Note: Sanders-Warren wing gets another moment, amid coronavirus crisis," 19 Mar. 2020 Biden won all of the delegates available on March 17: Florida’s 219, 155 in Illinois, and Arizona’s 155. Tim Darnell, ajc, "Biden sweeps Sanders in Florida, Illinois, Arizona on Super Tuesday III," 18 Mar. 2020 Problems arose, including in Florida, which has the most delegates up for grabs. David Rising, Anchorage Daily News, "Disruption frenzy: Nations try to slow virus, aid economies," 18 Mar. 2020 But Biden will still be short of the 1,991 pledged delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Fox News, "Primaries go forward in three big states despite coronavirus, as Biden looks to shut out Sanders," 18 Mar. 2020 Even before Tuesday’s results, about half of the delegates in the Democratic primary have already been awarded. Brian Slodysko, BostonGlobe.com, "Biden wins Florida as coronavirus disrupts primary voting," 17 Mar. 2020 Biden won the four Super Tuesday states USA Today examines — North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama — on track to earn at least double the delegates in the process. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Super Tuesday’s Young Voters Loved Bernie Sanders, but Youth Voter Turnout Was Outnumbered," 4 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Brands must enforce their trademarks, so Sahad dedicated much of his time to a task that larger agencies usually delegate to legal teams: finding and reporting knockoffs. Roger Sollenberger, Wired, "The Freewheeling, Copyright-Infringing World of Custom-Printed Tees," 16 Mar. 2020 But in addition to California, the other most delegate-rich state that voted Tuesday, Texas, still has 148 unassigned delegates. Libby Cathey, ABC News, "Super Tuesday live updates: Biden projected to win Maine, Bloomberg suspends race," 4 Mar. 2020 But the fear among some Democratic donors and strategists is that there won’t be any real clarity before Sanders’ delegate lead becomes insurmountable. Alana Abramson, Time, "Big-Money Democratic Donors Are Trying to Stop Bernie Sanders. But Even They Worry It Could Be Too Late," 27 Feb. 2020 One former senior official called it the typical playbook: Engage in flattery, discuss mutual cooperation and bring up a favor that then could be delegated to another person on Mr. Trump’s team. Michael Crowley, New York Times, "Trump’s Not-So-Excellent Day," 25 Sep. 2019 Indeed, Congress appears quite happy to delegate the complex realm of foreign sanctions to the president. Andrew Boyle, Fortune, "Limiting this governmental emergency power could curb presidential overreach," 4 Mar. 2020 Off to the Lone Star State:Candidates flock to delegate-rich Texas with Super Tuesday around the corner Making way for Elizabeth Warren? Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "With Pete Buttigieg out, which candidate is primed to inherit his supporters?," 2 Mar. 2020 Utah awards 29 delegates, a low number compared to delegate-rich states where Buttigieg is polling under the 15% delegate threshold. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Super Tuesday all about Bernie, Biden, and Bloomberg," 29 Feb. 2020 Airtable empowered me to delegate (read: relinquish control) to my now-husband, bridesmaids, and day-of coordinator. Wired Staff, Wired, "How to Use Airtable, Trello, and Other Apps to Fix Your Life," 25 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of delegate

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for delegate

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for delegate

Time Traveler

The first known use of delegate was in the 14th century

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Listen to Our Podcast about delegate

Statistics for delegate

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Delegate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delegate. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for delegate

delegate

noun
How to pronounce delegate (audio) How to pronounce delegate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of delegate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

delegate

verb
How to pronounce delegate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of delegate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

delegate

noun
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio) \

Kids Definition of delegate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

delegate

verb
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-lə-ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio) \
delegated; delegating

Kids Definition of delegate (Entry 2 of 2)

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.

delegate

noun
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio) \

Legal Definition of delegate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

delegate

verb
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio) \
delegated; delegating

Legal Definition of delegate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

History and Etymology for delegate

Noun

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

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Comments on delegate

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