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

Each delegate was also tasked with sharing insights about food in terms of their lives and families. Adam Chandler, Time, "The Fascinating Way Popeyes Comes Up With New Items Like That Chicken Sandwich Everyone Is Obsessed With," 9 Sep. 2019 Booker’s address on Saturday at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual convention was well received by the thousands of activists and delegates in the audience. Peter Doocy, Fox News, "Cory Booker downplays poll position, says surveys not ‘predictive this far out’," 7 Sep. 2019 Hogan’s proposal was a response to a letter Tuesday from Jones and 49 other delegates in which the lawmakers urged the board, which serves as the state’s spending panel, to approve payments to the men. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Hogan: Judges should decide how much to pay 5 wrongly incarcerated men," 4 Sep. 2019 Santa visits; the building of Jump Park; 90 children shopping for new clothes at Christmas time; awards for couples who have been married 50 years or more; highway cleanup; Students of the Month; and Boys and Girls State delegates. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland.com, "Kiwanis of Medina celebrates 100 years of service to community," 4 Sep. 2019 The union's 27-member delegate assembly released the resolutions on Wednesday, calling for O'Neill's resignation and asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to remove de Blasio from office. Madeleine Thompson, CNN, "NYPD commissioner says he won't resign following Police union resolutions of no confidence," 31 Aug. 2019 No longer will meeting planners be required to bus [convention] delegates downtown to the Amway Center. Stephen Hudak, orlandosentinel.com, "Orange County forging ahead with $605M Convention Center project despite challenge by losing bidder," 29 Aug. 2019 Electricity went out throughout the islands, where nearly 3,000 homes were still in need of repair after the 2017 hurricanes, said Stacey Plaskett, the Virgin Islands’ delegate to Congress. New York Times, "Hurricane Dorian Spares Puerto Rico as Florida Prepares for Landfall," 28 Aug. 2019 Currently, voters pick the delegates during the primary. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Alabama GOP opposes replacing elected state Board of Education," 24 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Democrats Jose Caballero, a Navy veteran and delegate for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016, and Joaquin Vasquez, a policy adviser, had already announced their candidacies for the 53rd District prior to Davis’s decision not to seek re-election. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Republican Famela Ramos enters race for Rep. Susan Davis’s soon-to-be open seat," 9 Sep. 2019 But Meyer and Day both started by dialing up offenses and delegating defensive duties to assistants. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland.com, "How Ryan Day, master doodler, turned his QB brain into Ohio State’s head coaching job," 30 Aug. 2019 The federal government would initially fund these facilities and pay the staff, before eventually petering out and delegating responsibility back to the states. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Yes, the U.S. Has a Mental-Health Problem," 6 Aug. 2019 The medical licensing board said McLaughlin had delegated his medical responsibilities to an unlicensed medical professional and his failure to address the outbreak of adverse reactions had contributed to a public health crisis. Rebekah Riess And Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Kentucky doctor reprimanded after his wife improperly handled flu vaccines and wrote prescriptions under his name," 23 July 2019 But partisan gridlock and decades of delegating responsibility to the president will complicate any legislative challenge to Trump’s tariff threat. Mark Niquette, Fortune, "Trump's Mexico Tariffs Are Coming: Why It's So Hard to Stop Them," 7 June 2019 America’s constitution says that trade policy falls to Congress, though over time Congress has delegated certain powers to the president. The Economist, "President Donald Trump is trashing deals in favour of tariffs," 7 June 2019 In 2015, when Queen Elizabeth started to delegate more and more royal duties to younger generations of royals, Harry was forced to choose between his military career and his royal life. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Queen Forced Prince Harry to Make a Heartbreaking Choice About What to Do with His Life," 25 May 2019 Wanda learns to delegate a few of her responsibilities to those who love and support her vision for the team. Gerrad Hall, EW.com, "A man paralyzed by gun violence, Jonathan's former teacher — meet the Queer Eye season 4 'heroes'," 10 July 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

12 Sep 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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