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 delegate (audio) \ noun
delegator \ ˈde-​li-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce delegate (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 Company culture and employee happiness stem from how well managers lead and delegate. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, "Managers Promoted From Within Receive More Respect And Money, New Study Finds," 15 Apr. 2021 Langford and Anderson face a formidable challenger in Null, who became a party delegate eight years ago and has served on the county GOP’s executive committee for the past three years. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Amid complaints of a toxic culture for women within the Salt Lake County GOP, Kathleen Anderson jumps into race for chair," 7 Apr. 2021 That delegate called the pharmacy, which initially hung up on them. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "The Biggest Barriers to COVID Vaccination for Black and Latinx People," 24 Mar. 2021 Nick Mosby took office last year as president of the city council after a stint as a state delegate and council member. Washington Post, "Baltimore officials Nick and Marilyn Mosby push back against federal probe," 22 Mar. 2021 The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing on the H.R. 51 legislation that would give residents full representation in Congress, with two senators and one House member, rather than one nonvoting House delegate. Eliza Collins, WSJ, "Washington, D.C., Statehood Divides Congressional Hearing," 22 Mar. 2021 But district residents have no voting representation in Congress, although Eleanor Holmes Norton represents D.C. in Congress as a non-voting delegate. Grace Segers, CBS News, "House committees to vote on bills on D.C. statehood and reparations," 14 Apr. 2021 In politics, Wall was proud of his involvement in Jimmy Carter’s campaigns in 1976 and 1980 and was a Carter delegate at the 1976 and 1980 Democratic National Nominating Conventions. Graydon Megan, chicagotribune.com, "Elmhurst Methodist minister who wrote about “politics, cinema, modern culture and the ambiguity of human existence” has died," 6 Apr. 2021 Another co-founder, Chen Jianwen, is a delegate to a regional arm of the advisory body and leads an association for alumni of a training academy for Communist Party officials. New York Times, "In Hong Kong, a New Party Calls for Stability (and Raises Suspicions)," 16 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Other federal laws delegate federal eminent domain power to private parties to build railroads and transmission lines, though many explicitly carve out state property. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "New Jersey’s Gas Pipeline Veto," 26 Apr. 2021 Owners usually delegate poaching prevention to the captain. Lucy Alexander, Robb Report, "Here’s How to Keep Your Crew From Being Pirated by Another Yacht," 18 Apr. 2021 Ratcliffe prefers to delegate rather than do physical labor himself, a standard managerial practice, but not something heroes do. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, "Deconstructing Disney: Queer Coding and Masculinity in Pocahontas," 13 Apr. 2021 According to Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology at Villanova University, Pope Francis prefers to delegate the delivering of messages that his progressive supporters will find disagreeable. Ian Lovett, WSJ, "Pope Struggles to Contain Conservative-Liberal Tensions in Catholic Church," 20 Mar. 2021 If everything is mundane, delegate the less exciting work to focus on what moves the needle for the business. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "14 Ways To Renew Enthusiasm For A Long-Standing Job," 12 Mar. 2021 Use imaginative ways to get other people to follow your lead, and gently delegate authority. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for March 26, 2021: Virgo, skip happy hour; Sagittarius, share deep thoughts, hopes," 26 Mar. 2021 Companies have used Purpose to delegate decision-making and empower front-line employees to act with autonomy. Bill Schaninger, Fortune, "Three common pitfalls for Corporate Purpose—and how to overcome them," 9 Mar. 2021 Somin doesn’t think that the Trump administration’s position is constitutional either, arguing that the Supreme Court has said that there are limits to how much power Congress can delegate toward the executive branch. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Biden is murky on his national mask mandate plan — and so is the law," 19 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for delegate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for delegate

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Delegate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delegate. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on delegate

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