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

Then there is the party’s new rule for 2020, in which superdelegates — party establishment insiders who are automatic delegates to the party’s convention — cannot vote on the first presidential ballot if the convention remains contested. Marc Levy, The Seattle Times, "Surprise? Pennsylvania’s 2020 primary could be competitive," 25 Mar. 2019 That could include things like losing the ability to hold office as a delegate or teach Sunday school. Jack Jenkins And Emily Mcfarlan Miller, USA TODAY, "600 United Methodists file complaint against Sessions for child abuse, discrimination," 19 June 2018 When this failed, the Times reported that U.S. delegates turned to threats. Renae Reints, Fortune, "U.S. Delegates Opposed an International Resolution That Supported Breastfeeding," 8 July 2018 The project hits close to home for the Duke of Cambridge, who is president-delegate of England's Football Association. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Stuns in a Red Carolina Herrera Coat for a Surprise Trip to Ireland with Prince William," 27 Feb. 2019 One of the victims was Adam Lux, his friend and fellow delegate from Mainz, who had fallen in love with Marat’s murderer, Charlotte Corday, as she was being dragged to the guillotine. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, "‘Georg Forster’ Review: In Search of Earthly Paradise," 22 Feb. 2019 During the deliberations, some American delegates even suggested the United States might cut its contribution to the W.H.O., several negotiators said. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials," 8 July 2018 But for many, the meeting continues to be an opportunity for world-class networking among the 3,000 delegates and the hundreds of others who journey there. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, "Trump, Key European Leaders Skip Davos Amid Turmoil at Home," 21 Jan. 2019 But as Pence prepares to address nearly 10,000 delegates -- called messengers -- at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting here on Wednesday, a small but significant slice is opposing his appearance. Daniel Burke, CNN, "Why some evangelicals don't want Vice President Pence to speak at their meeting," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie filed an amicus brief to say that the ability to increase salary was properly delegated. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Conservative Group Asks Judge to Halt Albany Lawmakers’ Raises," 12 Jan. 2019 The officials said Trump has — at least temporarily — delegated the search process for the VA to his advisers, in an effort to avoid more Cabinet embarrassment. BostonGlobe.com, "Giuliani says Trump repaid Cohen $130,000 for Daniels deal," 2 May 2018 The best, the all-time biggest triumph in the domestic work wars, though, has to be delegating the bathrooms to the kids. Stacey Gill, Good Housekeeping, "I Don't Need a Housekeeper — I Make My Kids Do the Cleaning," 21 Sep. 2015 Al-Sadr’s forces maintained their own chain of command and were as a result delegated to largely operate in the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, with the duty of protecting one of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines. Washington Post, "Iraqi Shiite cleric gained ground with nationalist voice," 15 May 2018 In the aftermath of the diesel-cheating scandal, Volkswagen has been pushing to overhaul its rigid top-down management structure, delegating more responsibility to its brand and regional chiefs. Fortune, "As Diesel Scandal Fades, VW Is Planning to Replace Its CEO," 10 Apr. 2018 Building the three-tier floating shelf was so quick and easy that Rachel delegated the task to her children. Herrine Ro, Country Living, "This Tiny Bathroom Got a Big Ol' Countrified Makeover," 6 Oct. 2015 Every public indication is that Musk simply doesn’t want to delegate those tasks, which is an even scarier thought for the company’s long-term prospects. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "If Tesla goes up in smoke, it won’t be because Elon Musk hit a blunt," 7 Sep. 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 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

23 Apr 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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