delegate

noun
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio) , -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 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

The project hits close to home for the Duke of Cambridge, who is president-delegate of England's Football Association. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Stuns in a Red Carolina Herrera Coat for a Surprise Trip to Ireland with Prince William," 27 Feb. 2019 One of the victims was Adam Lux, his friend and fellow delegate from Mainz, who had fallen in love with Marat’s murderer, Charlotte Corday, as she was being dragged to the guillotine. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, "‘Georg Forster’ Review: In Search of Earthly Paradise," 22 Feb. 2019 During the deliberations, some American delegates even suggested the United States might cut its contribution to the W.H.O., several negotiators said. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials," 8 July 2018 But for many, the meeting continues to be an opportunity for world-class networking among the 3,000 delegates and the hundreds of others who journey there. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, "Trump, Key European Leaders Skip Davos Amid Turmoil at Home," 21 Jan. 2019 But as Pence prepares to address nearly 10,000 delegates -- called messengers -- at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting here on Wednesday, a small but significant slice is opposing his appearance. Daniel Burke, CNN, "Why some evangelicals don't want Vice President Pence to speak at their meeting," 13 June 2018 But some delegates are offended by the new language. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana GOP poised to remove language supporting marriage between 'a man and a woman'," 1 June 2018 Some delegates complained about long bus rides and the quality of some hotels. charlotteobserver, "Charlotte submits bid to host 2020 Republican National Convention | Charlotte Observer," 3 Apr. 2018 Over 3,000 delegates are attending for a period of usually two weeks. Christina Zhao, Newsweek, "Chinese Police Order Beijing Restaurants to Only Serve 10 Foreigners at a Time: Report," 13 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Every public indication is that Musk simply doesn’t want to delegate those tasks, which is an even scarier thought for the company’s long-term prospects. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "If Tesla goes up in smoke, it won’t be because Elon Musk hit a blunt," 7 Sep. 2018 As of now, the duties of the CEO are being delegated among four J.Crew executives. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "J.Crew launched its newest brand 16 days ago. Now it’s closing.," 30 Nov. 2018 On the other hand, testifying is not a task that can be delegated to underlings like the production of documents. Adam Liptak, New York Times, "Showdown on a Trump Subpoena Could Overshadow Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation," 10 July 2018 The agency for some time has been moving to delegate more responsibility to plane and equipment manufacturers for conducting detailed risk assessments on new or derivative products. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, "FAA Launches Review of Boeing’s Safety Analyses," 13 Nov. 2018 He isn't allowed to delegate that authority to an acting supervisor, as had been done with Willett. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "How a McDonald's receipt crippled an elite Louisville drug-fighting team," 18 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 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

14 Mar 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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