del·​e·​ga·​tion | \ ˌde-li-ˈgā-shən \

Definition of delegation

1 : the act of empowering to act for another the delegation of responsibilities
2 : a group of persons chosen to represent others the state's congressional delegation

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Synonyms for delegation


contingent, delegacy

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What Is a delegation?

The task of a delegation—each member of which can be called a delegate—is to represent a larger group, often at a conference. Thus, a delegation of nondoctors to a medical convention may want to make sure the rights and needs of patients aren't ignored, just as a delegation of laypeople may attend a religious conference to express the concerns of other laypeople.

Examples of delegation in a Sentence

He's been chosen to lead the delegation to the conference. a delegation from the local scout troop is being sent to the national jamboree

Recent Examples on the Web

This is the largest state with an all-male congressional delegation. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "The Midterm Elections Can Be Confusing—Here's What You Need to Know About Them," 19 Sep. 2018 The delegation of 25 members of Congress visited a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in the U.S.-Mexico border city of McAllen, Texas., "Democratic lawmakers want plan to reunite immigrant families," 23 June 2018 The delegation visited Casa San Diego, a facility run by the Department of Health and Human Services in El Cajon, Calif. that houses immigrant children caught crossing the border with family members or alone. Emily Cadei, sacbee, "Trump's border security boss should resign over family separation policy, Democrats say," 18 June 2018 The breadth of American concerns about a rising China helps explain the lack of progress when a government delegation led by the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, visited Beijing on May 3rd and 4th. The Economist, "China has put missiles on islands in the South China Sea," 10 May 2018 The following year, the two made arrangements for a delegation from the Chinese institute to visit Kansas. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Chinese national tried to steal a valuable U.S. trade secret: Kansas rice seeds | The Kansas City Star," 5 Apr. 2018 When a German delegation visited a month later, a project was approved to distribute cashew seedlings and mosquito nets and to train locals in building houses that stood a better chance of surviving a storm. Longreads, "Where Have You Hidden the Cholera?," 5 Apr. 2018 Immediately afterwards, Moshe sends a delegation to Edom asking that the Jewish people be allowed to go through his territory on their way to Israel. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jewish Journal, "Leaders must learn to keep their egos in check," 18 June 2018 The trips were primarily for official legislative delegations, Senate and Assembly representatives said. Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "Paris, Japan, Mexico City, Brazil – legislative staff travel at taxpayer expense," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'delegation.' 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 delegation

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for delegation

see delegate entry 1

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Statistics for delegation

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delegation

The first known use of delegation was in 1612

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English Language Learners Definition of delegation

: a group of people who are chosen to vote or act for someone else

: the act of giving control, authority, a job, a duty, etc., to another person


del·​e·​ga·​tion | \ ˌde-lə-ˈgā-shən \

Kids Definition of delegation

1 : the act of giving someone authority or responsibility for
2 : one or more persons chosen to represent others


del·​e·​ga·​tion | \ ˌde-li-ˈgā-shən \

Legal Definition of delegation

1 : the act of delegating
2 : a group of persons chosen to represent others

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Comments on delegation

What made you want to look up delegation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a complex dispute or argument

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