delegate

1 of 2

noun

del·​e·​gate ˈde-li-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio) -ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio)
: 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

2 of 2

verb

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

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
delegatee noun
delegator noun

Did you know?

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 the Latin word legare, meaning “to send.” The noun delegate, which refers to a person who is chosen or elected to vote or act for others, arrived in English in the 14th century, while the verb didn't make its entrée till the early 16th century. Some distant cousins of the word delegate that also trace back to legare include legacy, colleague, relegate, and legate, “an official representative sent to a foreign country.”

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Eight years ago, the last time the Republican National Convention was held in-person, Cleveland hosted the more than 40,000 delegates, politicians, journalists and others who descended on the city for the quadrennial event. Sarah Volpenhein, Journal Sentinel, 17 Apr. 2024 Advertisement In November, the 42-member executive board of the L.A. Fed declined to allow discussion among its delegates of a statement calling for a cease-fire, sources close to the union said. Suhauna Hussain, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for delegate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'delegate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near delegate

Cite this Entry

“Delegate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delegate. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

delegate

1 of 2 noun
del·​e·​gate ˈdel-i-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio)
-ˌgāt
: a person sent with power to act for another : representative

delegate

2 of 2 verb
del·​e·​gate ˈdel-i-ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio)
delegated; delegating
1
: to entrust to another
delegate authority
2
: to appoint as one's delegate

Legal Definition

delegate

1 of 2 noun
del·​e·​gate ˈde-li-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio)
: 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

2 of 2 verb
del·​e·​gate ˈde-li-ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio)
delegated; delegating

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
Etymology

Noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on delegate

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