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

The disaster inspired Democrats to change the rules — so that going forward the vast majority of convention delegates would be chosen not by party bosses but by the people, in state primaries. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "How the chaos of 1968 set the stage for a President Donald Trump | Will Bunch," 24 May 2018 Working with other delegates from impacted jurisdictions, Valentino-Smith was successful in getting a provision into the following budget narrative calling for future development of an ombudsman in this matter. Sara Ervin Walser, Laurel Leader, "Proposal filed for new medical center in region [South Laurel/Montpelier]," 7 May 2018 Today, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are meeting with delegates for the Commonwealth Youth Forum in London. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Is Making Royal History at the Commonwealth Youth Forum," 18 Apr. 2018 Guards move the detainees around the Detention Center Zone — to legal meetings, medical appointments and the occasional chat with delegates of the International Red Cross. Carol Rosenberg, miamiherald, "Disrupted legal meetings could snarl start of Guantánamo’s first 9/11 hearing of 2018," 8 Jan. 2018 The hundreds of delegates in attendance expected an effortless approval of the resolution by the World Health Assembly, which is the decision-making body of WHO. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US puts fierce squeeze on breastfeeding policy, shocking health officials," 9 July 2018 Plastered with the festival’s signature colorful pinwheel, The Great Escape Music Convention welcomed thousands of delegates to the city of Brighton Thursday (May 17). Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Brighton's Great Escape Launches Biggest Year With New Beach Venue and The Smith's Johnny Marr," 18 May 2018 That is hard, given that Virginia delegates earn $17,640 a year. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "What transgender legislator Danica Roem learned from Metallica," 19 June 2018 The facts: Paul Manafort, a longtime Republican strategist and lobbyist, joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and was put in charge of persuading GOP convention delegates to back Mr. Trump. CBS News, "Trump makes misleading claims about Crimea, FBI, North Korea," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As of now, the duties of the CEO are being delegated among four J.Crew executives. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "J.Crew launched its newest brand 16 days ago. Now it’s closing.," 30 Nov. 2018 On the other hand, testifying is not a task that can be delegated to underlings like the production of documents. Adam Liptak, New York Times, "Showdown on a Trump Subpoena Could Overshadow Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation," 10 July 2018 The agency for some time has been moving to delegate more responsibility to plane and equipment manufacturers for conducting detailed risk assessments on new or derivative products. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, "FAA Launches Review of Boeing’s Safety Analyses," 13 Nov. 2018 He isn't allowed to delegate that authority to an acting supervisor, as had been done with Willett. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "How a McDonald's receipt crippled an elite Louisville drug-fighting team," 18 June 2018 The terms of the settlement gave each state’s governor the authority to delegate an organization to deal with the money, and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner chose the IEPA. Cherise Threewitt, chicagotribune.com, "VW diesel settlement money spurs controversy in Illinois," 10 May 2018 Huguette was wealthy enough to delegate tasks that might otherwise have required her to leave the house. Meryl Gordon, Town & Country, "The Curious Life and Shocking Death of Huguette Clark," 21 May 2014 Committees also can be delegated the authority to make decisions on behalf of the board. Howard Dakoff, chicagotribune.com, "In condo association, what's the difference between a committee and a commission?," 3 July 2018 While inferior officers are usually appointed similarly, the Senate may delegate its role to department heads, the president alone or other officers for their appointment. Katherine Nails, Philly.com, "George Conway, lawyer and Kellyanne Conway's husband, makes case for Mueller investigation," 12 June 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

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Statistics for delegate

Last Updated

5 Dec 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

History and Etymology for delegate

Noun

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

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