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 Ecuadorian delegates acquiesced, and health advocates struggled to find another sponsor for the resolution. Renae Reints, Fortune, "U.S. Delegates Opposed an International Resolution That Supported Breastfeeding," 8 July 2018 The two-term delegate scored an upset win over the veteran Conway in the in Democratic primary for the 43rd District seat. Michael Dresser, baltimoresun.com, "Mary Washington claims victory in Maryland Senate race against Joan Carter Conway," 6 July 2018 The state party’s executive board is made up of about 360 party leaders, as opposed to the more than 2,700 delegates who voted at a February convention in San Diego during the primary endorsement battle. Phil Willon, latimes.com, "Feinstein and De León enter round two in fight over California Democratic Party endorsement," 4 July 2018 The delegates sit in fine mahogany armchairs, not the plain Windsor chairs actually provided. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "This Painting Is Probably How You Imagine the Original Fourth of July. Here's What's Wrong With It," 3 July 2018 The group was said to agree a principle for a 600,000 barrel a day output hike, that would be a nominal 1 million barrels a day, according to a delegate. Bloomberg, Houston Chronicle, "Oil gains as OPEC is said to agree on production increase," 22 June 2018 Other traditional Trump allies, including the delegates of the Southern Baptist Convention and Franklin Graham, the son of the late Billy Graham, have also spoken out. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Pope Francis condemns Trump’s family separation policy," 20 June 2018 But what stood out the most — at least to international delegates — was Australia's lack of political commentary across the fashion business. refinery29.com, "In Australia, Designers Don't Get Political —They Just Wanna Have Fun," 24 May 2018 The current holder, Councilman James McMahan, ran for state delegate this year. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Harford races for local offices remain unchanged after first absentee canvass," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ducey's office said Black authorized the firing and delegated the authority to her deputy to fire Hartin. Craig Harris, azcentral, "State Parks fires employee fighting cancer; Ducey stands behind move," 14 June 2018 Rauner previously was a partner in the equity investment firm GTCR and has said his current investments have been delegated to a power of attorney. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "Rauner calls Pritzker attack ad about Trump immigration policy 'dishonest'," 11 July 2018 Opponents said the law improperly delegated the state’s authority to the schools and allowed the companies to avoid the rigorous selection process under which existing commercial cannabis growers and dispensaries had been subjected. Sam Wood, Philly.com, "With Gov. Wolf's signature, Pa. marijuana research proceeds," 25 June 2018 The largely ceremonial role of vice president is second in succession and can carry out duties delegated by the chief executive. Bloomberg.com, "Xi Set for Second Term as China’s President, Cementing Power Push," 16 Mar. 2018 Does this happen in other relationships, where the family matter details are delegated to the woman? Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Wife wonders why gift-giving is her job," 9 Jan. 2018 For this year’s provisions, Anter has made about 45 breakfast wraps and delegated cold-cut wraps to fellow crew member. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "How 5 Port Huron-to-Mackinac racers feed sailboat crews," 13 July 2018 Poole, Foss, and Montana have all, in large part, delegated planning duties, including making reservations and booking hotels, to their partners. Cassie Shortsleeve, Condé Nast Traveler, "What It’s Really Like to Travel With Alzheimer’s," 28 June 2018 Instead of addressing the core problem, CEOs delegate to HR, which usually tries to address short-term symptoms by pushing out the person who speaks up. Ellen Pao, WIRED, "The Perverse Incentives That Help Incels Thrive in Tech," 19 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

Noun

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

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Statistics for delegate

Last Updated

12 Sep 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

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