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

The ship, modeled after a Baltimore clipper from the War of 1812, set sail from the Inner Harbor’s Pier 1 on Wednesday with state delegates Maggie MacIntosh and Brooke Lierman, among other officials, in attendance. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "Pride of Baltimore II clipper is headed for the Great Lakes," 6 June 2019 Instead Wilentz focuses on the ways in which the Deep South delegates, occasionally (but not always) supported by their fellow slaveholders in the upper South, were frustrated in their efforts to obtain an even more proslavery Constitution. Nicholas Guyatt, The New York Review of Books, "How Proslavery Was the Constitution?," 6 June 2019 Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping greets Communist Party delegates in Beijing, Nov. 1989. Margaret Macmillan, WSJ, "1989: The Year of Unfulfilled Hopes," 28 Dec. 2018 The committee heard from former delegate Marc Harman, who was involved in impeachment proceedings against state Treasurer A. James Manchin in 1989. John Raby, The Seattle Times, "West Virginia lawmakers mull court justice impeachment," 26 June 2018 Morin will meet state delegates at 9 a.m. Saturday. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "LULAC’s state convention to meet in S.A. amid crisis," 30 May 2018 Hogan and Kittleman were joined at the ceremony by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, state delegates Frank Turner, Robert Flanagan, Eric Ebersole, Vanessa Atterbeary and Clarence Lam and a state senator, Guy Guzzone. Kate Magill, Columbia Flier, "Ground broken as massive project to 'transform' Columbia's downtown begins," 30 Apr. 2018 Beyond directly intervening, a bystander can distract by asking a question, delay by checking in with the person, delegate by seeking help from someone else (such as a security guard), and document the situation for evidence later on. Greta Moran, Teen Vogue, "The Culture of Sexual Harassment at Music Festivals Like Coachella Could Be Changing," 3 May 2019 Compared with 2016, the number of delegates awarded in Super... David Avella, WSJ, "Harris Snubs Iowa and New Hampshire," 7 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then, on 25 August 2017, the Myanmar military began a coordinated massacre of the Rohingya who remained, delegating much of the violence to unofficial groups of anti-Rohingya militants. Gaia Vince, Quartz, "How to survive in the world’s largest refugee camp," 8 June 2019 Both Medicare for All bills would extend coverage to every U.S. resident, delegating the health and human services secretary to define residency. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Seattle Times, "‘Medicare for All’ stirs up divisive issues for 2020 Dems," 25 Mar. 2019 Lawmakers have already delegated to the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies the authority to reset Wall Street’s rules of the road. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, "Democratic House Will Target Wall Street—but Can’t Stop Deregulation," 7 Nov. 2018 Rather than delegate the White House's response, Trump took matters into his own hands and vented to reporters on Monday evening. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "Trump sure could use a communications director right about now," 10 Apr. 2018 President Donald Trump initially backed the idea of new age restrictions on gun purchases before delegating it to the commission for further study. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, "DeVos, Long Opposed to Federal Gun Control, Takes on School Safety," 12 Mar. 2018 That Trump is now undertaking this effort himself after delegating it to the DOJ is notable, as Trump has been critical of Sessions on Twitter recently for the way he's handled other issues. Ali Vitali, NBC News, "Trump says he’ll ban bump stocks through executive order," 28 Feb. 2018 Both a 2015 rejection of the project by the Obama administration and a 2017 approval by Trump were issued by the State Department under terms of a 2004 executive order that delegated presidential authority for cross-border projects to that agency. Matthew Daly, The Seattle Times, "Trump wields presidential power on pipeline, energy projects," 14 Apr. 2019 Communication makes everything run smoothly and happily, delegating different responsibilities to different house members to make your home a more pleasant place to relax. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What April’s Aquarius Horoscope Means for You," 31 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for delegate

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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 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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