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

Beyond directly intervening, a bystander can distract by asking a question, delay by checking in with the person, delegate by seeking help from someone else (such as a security guard), and document the situation for evidence later on. Greta Moran, Teen Vogue, "The Culture of Sexual Harassment at Music Festivals Like Coachella Could Be Changing," 3 May 2019 Compared with 2016, the number of delegates awarded in Super... David Avella, WSJ, "Harris Snubs Iowa and New Hampshire," 7 Apr. 2019 Some delegates, particularly those from island nations threatened by sea level rise, also want more stringent targets for greenhouse gases. Umair Irfan, Vox, "World leaders are working out a climate deal in Poland — despite Trump," 14 Dec. 2018 The delegates then will vote for the winning candidate at the National Convention, to nominate them for President. Megan Ditrolio, Marie Claire, "How Is a Caucus Different From a Primary? Your Definitive Guide," 28 Feb. 2019 Its delegates have urged OPEC not to engage with the U.S., which is a foe of the Islamic republic. Timothy Puko, WSJ, "OPEC Weighs a First-Ever Influence Campaign in the U.S.," 11 Jan. 2019 Both candidates plan to speak to their delegates about their visions of a prosperous Idaho. Nate Poppino, idahostatesman, "More than Oliver North: 3 things to watch for as Idaho Dems, GOP meet this week," 27 June 2018 According to Moon’s spokesman, Kim made a startling admission, acknowledging that the roads in North Korea are in poor condition, and noting that his delegates to the Olympics had admired the South’s bullet train. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "What You Need to Know About the Historic Summit Between North and South Korea," 27 Apr. 2018 Although North Korea said its delegates had no willingness to meet Mr. Pence, the vice president again did not rule out the possibility of a meeting on the sidelines of the Games. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "South Korean Leader to Meet Kim Jong-un’s Sister in Highest-Level Contact in Years," 8 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Both a 2015 rejection of the project by the Obama administration and a 2017 approval by Trump were issued by the State Department under terms of a 2004 executive order that delegated presidential authority for cross-border projects to that agency. Matthew Daly, The Seattle Times, "Trump wields presidential power on pipeline, energy projects," 14 Apr. 2019 Communication makes everything run smoothly and happily, delegating different responsibilities to different house members to make your home a more pleasant place to relax. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What April’s Aquarius Horoscope Means for You," 31 Mar. 2019 Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie filed an amicus brief to say that the ability to increase salary was properly delegated. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Conservative Group Asks Judge to Halt Albany Lawmakers’ Raises," 12 Jan. 2019 The officials said Trump has — at least temporarily — delegated the search process for the VA to his advisers, in an effort to avoid more Cabinet embarrassment. BostonGlobe.com, "Giuliani says Trump repaid Cohen $130,000 for Daniels deal," 2 May 2018 The best, the all-time biggest triumph in the domestic work wars, though, has to be delegating the bathrooms to the kids. Stacey Gill, Good Housekeeping, "I Don't Need a Housekeeper — I Make My Kids Do the Cleaning," 21 Sep. 2015 Al-Sadr’s forces maintained their own chain of command and were as a result delegated to largely operate in the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, with the duty of protecting one of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines. Washington Post, "Iraqi Shiite cleric gained ground with nationalist voice," 15 May 2018 In the aftermath of the diesel-cheating scandal, Volkswagen has been pushing to overhaul its rigid top-down management structure, delegating more responsibility to its brand and regional chiefs. Fortune, "As Diesel Scandal Fades, VW Is Planning to Replace Its CEO," 10 Apr. 2018 Building the three-tier floating shelf was so quick and easy that Rachel delegated the task to her children. Herrine Ro, Country Living, "This Tiny Bathroom Got a Big Ol' Countrified Makeover," 6 Oct. 2015

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

23 May 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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