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 Today’s obituaries Today in history On Sept. 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. oregonlive, "Scout’s death leads to $10 million lawsuit: Morning Briefing for Tuesday, Sept. 17," 17 Sep. 2019 In 1787, the Constitution of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of delegates attending the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. orlandosentinel.com, "Today in history: September 17," 16 Sep. 2019 Republican National Committee member Harmeet Dhillon told delegates. Washington Post, "Manager: Trump family building ‘dynasty’ for decades to come," 9 Sep. 2019 At a bargaining convention in March, President Gary Jones told delegates that the union is raising strike pay and said the union would walk out if necessary. Dallas News, "Slowing sales, rising costs set stage for start of UAW contract talks with Detroit 3," 15 July 2019 Three days after South Carolina votes, Democrats in 13 states (including California and Texas) will choose roughly 40 percent of the delegates to the convention. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Waist-Deep in the ‘Big Muddle’," 24 June 2019 At Amazon, for example, Mr. Bezos writes brief emails to make announcements or delegate, but largely gives feedback and discusses issues in person. Steve Lohr, New York Times, "House Antitrust Panel Seeks Documents From 4 Big Tech Firms," 13 Sep. 2019 For the virtual caucus, to which the I.D.P. had assigned ten per cent of the state’s delegates, the population is impossible to predict, in part, because prior participation is nonexistent. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "A Virtual Threat to Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation Caucuses," 30 Aug. 2019 Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, the Revolutionary War veteran and convention delegate from South Carolina, proposed adding the concept of property in man to the text of the Constitution. John Hirschauer, National Review, "What a Princeton Historian’s Critics Get Wrong about the Constitution and Slavery," 27 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Since 1935 the justices have ignored that provision and permitted lawmakers to delegate their authority to the executive branch. David B. Rivkin Jr. And Lee A. Casey, WSJ, "Alito Teases a Judicial Revolution," 23 June 2019 Democrats Jose Caballero, a Navy veteran and delegate for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016, and Joaquín Vázquez, a policy adviser, also have announced and were campaigning prior to news of Davis’s departure. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Local activist Ray Lutz creates campaign committee for 53rd Congressional District," 12 Sep. 2019 Goodell could delegate oversight of the appeal to another person, but that person would be picked by Goodell. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Should the NFL Place Antonio Brown on the Commissioner’s Exempt List?," 12 Sep. 2019 The resolution also delegated two council members to select a chairman and for the mayor to recommend six members of the public — three from each political party to serve on the committee. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "South Windsor town council to appoint committee to lead town’s 175th anniversary celebration," 4 Sep. 2019 With the terms of other members expiring, the board basically delegated its authority to as few as two members who would remain to take action. Stephen L. Carter, Twin Cities, "Stephen L. Carter: Five opinions that show Justice Stevens’s greatness," 21 July 2019 So basically, the FCC is delegating their oversight of the broadband industry to the broadband industry. Zachary Mack, The Verge, "Three things the FCC’s done since net neutrality was repealed," 9 July 2019 His team is tasked with sifting through tips and leads and delegating the credible ones to the appropriate unit. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "If you see a red flag for a mass shooting, this is what you should do," 18 Aug. 2019 That meant delegating tasks to those who could perform them and overseeing everything. SI.com, "Sir Alex Ferguson: The Serial Winner Whose Trophy Haul Rewrote Football History," 16 Aug. 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

24 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce delegate (audio) How to pronounce delegate (audio)

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
How to pronounce delegate (audio)

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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