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 But victories there typically give candidates crucial momentum that helps carry them into bigger states with more delegates on the line. Washington Post, "Bloomberg to pass on Iowa, NH, focus on Super Tuesday states," 9 Nov. 2019 But victories there typically give candidates crucial momentum that helps carry them into bigger states with more delegates on the line. Thomas Beaumont, The Denver Post, "Michael Bloomberg to pass on Iowa, New Hampshire, focus on Super Tuesday states in possible presidential bid," 8 Nov. 2019 Next year’s primary runs from March 3-10, with 13 convention delegates at stake. John Wildermuth, SFChronicle.com, "How Democrats get out the vote — from overseas," 27 Aug. 2019 The daughter and campaign treasurer for former Maryland delegate Tawanna P. Gaines pleaded guilty Friday to a count of federal wire fraud less than a month after her mother pleaded similarly to the same charge. Washington Post, "Daughter of ex-Md. lawmaker pleads guilty to federal wire fraud," 8 Nov. 2019 After a change to party rules in the wake of the 2016 election, superdelegates will only be able to cast votes at next year’s national convention if no candidate wins a majority of delegates from primaries and caucuses around the country. Casey Tolan, The Mercury News, "Presidential candidates take swipes at DNC at party meeting in San Francisco," 23 Aug. 2019 According to an article Kashatus wrote for the History News Network, Kophechne stood out in Kennedy’s campaign for her work, which included tracking how Democratic delegates from states were likely to vote. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al.com, "Before Chappaquiddick, Mary Jo Kopechne inspired students in Alabama," 18 July 2019 The peacemakers included 70 delegates from 27 countries, who met for six months in Paris, starting on January 18th 1919. The Economist, "Versailles revisited," 6 July 2019 On July 2nd, the Congress unanimously passed a resolution submitted by Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia. Kayla Bartsch, National Review, "‘Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations’ — A Brief History of the Fourth of July," 4 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The 93-year-old Queen long ago delegated high-level decision making to her successors, absorbing the impacts of their whims and missteps. Simon Usborne, Town & Country, "The Royal Family Has Lost Control of the Message," 23 Nov. 2019 College coaches often delegate a certain amount of day-to-day coaching responsibility to assistants, usually divided up by position. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "How Cassius Winston became the Tom Izzo whisperer, without the 'piss and vinegar'," 3 Nov. 2019 Past impeachment inquiries have afforded the President due process, delegated co-equal authorities to the minority party, and been conducted by the House Judiciary Committee. Journal Sentinel Staff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What Wisconsin's representatives in Congress said after the House vote on impeachment inquiry," 31 Oct. 2019 Black government workers were still often delegated to lower-level, menial jobs, but there was a clearer path to advance into the white-collar and supervisory echelon. Bryce Covert, Longreads, "Downsizing the American Black Middle Class," 24 Sep. 2019 Member-states have delegated more sovereignty over time to the EU. Garret Martin, The Conversation, "How does the ‘unidentified political object’ that is the European Union really work?," 18 Sep. 2019 When the Miami Dolphins hired Joe Philbin as coach, they were convinced by a catchy power-point display of pie charts and delegated responsibility in his interview. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: Brian Flores brings the one ingredient Dolphins coaches have lacked for years | Commentary," 16 Nov. 2019 Turkey essentially delegated the ground offensive to a proxy force, the Syrian National Army, an umbrella group in northern Syria consisting of an assortment of rebel forces opposed to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Asser Khattab, Washington Post, "‘Filled with hatred and a lust for blood’: Turkey’s proxy army in northern Syria accused of abusing civilians," 10 Nov. 2019 But after the assassination of two officers in 2014 and protests of the mayor by fellow officers at their funerals, the mayor largely delegated policing policy to his commissioners, first Mr. Bratton and then Mr. O’Neill. New York Times, "Dermot Shea Appointed New N.Y.P.D. Commissioner as O’Neill Resigns," 4 Nov. 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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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

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Delegate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delegating. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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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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