delegate

noun
del·e·gate | \ˈde-li-gət, -ˌgāt\

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 | \-ˌgāt \
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 \ noun
delegator \ˈde-li-ˌgā-tər \ 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 Friday morning, delegates prayed together outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Center in Broadview. Vikki Ortiz, chicagotribune.com, "'Chicago is the lighthouse': Local Catholic leaders take the lead in supporting immigrants," 13 July 2018 At the Democratic state convention, recently held in Fort Worth, delegates began donating items to help the children being served by Catholic Charities Fort Worth. Diane Smith And Anna M. Tinsley, star-telegram, "Fort Worth shelter has seen a 'revolving door' of immigrant children," 27 June 2018 Two Puerto Vallarta delegates, Citlalli Perez and Ana Carina Cibrian, led the workshop at Oak Terrace. Karen Berkowitz, chicagotribune.com, "Puerta Vallarta and Highland Park work to show value of people-to-people diplomacy," 13 July 2018 In Maryland’s Democratic primary last week, Fisher defeated an incumbent state delegate, Carlo Sanchez, in Prince George’s County. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "The first battle of the #SecondCivilWar is Nov. 6. Female voters must be a force.," 5 July 2018 The widow of Ted Sophocleus, a longtime Anne Arundel County delegate who died last month, has been nominated to serve out the remainder of his term, the county’s Democratic Central Committee announced Tuesday. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "Ted Sophocleus' widow nominated to serve rest of his term," 3 July 2018 On July Fourth at Adams National Park, visitors are invited to become delegates to the Continental Congress, representing one of the 13 colonies and reenacting the passage of the Declaration of Independence. BostonGlobe.com, "Reenacting passage of the Declaration of Independence, a grand pet parade, and young actors hit the stage," 28 June 2018 But the gathering of the nation's largest evangelical group took a political turn on Wednesday morning, when Vice President Mike Pence addressed the nearly 10,000 delegates, known as messengers. Daniel Burke, CNN, "Pence accused of 'hijacking' evangelical meeting," 13 June 2018 More importantly, his supporters blocked an expected endorsement of Feinstein at the state Democratic convention and came closer than the incumbent to the 60 percent of delegates required to get the nod. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "There Is a Lot at Stake in California’s Primaries Today," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Most of the innovation and big decisions will have been delegated down to the level of the team. The Economist, "The fashion for agile management is spreading," 5 July 2018 The plaintiffs argue that the law improperly delegates trade powers to the executive branch from the legislative branch in violation of the Constitution. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Kennedy retirement isn't a game changer for corporate America," 28 June 2018 The plaintiffs argue that the law improperly delegates trade powers to the executive branch from the legislative branch in violation of the Constitution. William Mauldin, WSJ, "Lawsuit Challenges Trump’s Authority to Impose Tariffs," 27 June 2018 But negotiations on the bill had been delegated to Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), who has received more in campaign contributions from Alkermes in the current cycle than any other lawmaker: $8,000 for a House race that is not seen as competitive. Lev Facher, STAT, "As opioids legislation gains steam, efforts to address crisis collide with moneyed interests," 7 June 2018 And delegate George Washington promptly went on the bender that began America. The Washington Post, AL.com, "'The bender that began America': George Washington's boozy 1787 Constitution celebration," 22 Feb. 2018 Find ways to postpone, delegate or rethink the other seven. 2. Lisa Tolin /, NBC News, "Want to do a better job? This expert says you should work less," 28 Feb. 2018 Ducey's office said Black authorized the firing and delegated the authority to her deputy to fire Hartin. Craig Harris, azcentral, "State Parks fires employee fighting cancer; Ducey stands behind move," 14 June 2018 Rauner previously was a partner in the equity investment firm GTCR and has said his current investments have been delegated to a power of attorney. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "Rauner calls Pritzker attack ad about Trump immigration policy 'dishonest'," 11 July 2018

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

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

Verb

see delegate entry 1

Noun

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

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Statistics for delegate

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delegate

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

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More Definitions for delegate

delegate

noun

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

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 \

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 \
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 \

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 \
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

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