designate

adjective
des·​ig·​nate | \ ˈde-zig-ˌnāt How to pronounce designate (audio) , -nət\

Definition of designate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: chosen but not yet installed (see install sense 1b) ambassador designate

designate

verb
des·​ig·​nate | \ ˈde-zig-ˌnāt How to pronounce designate (audio) \
designated; designating

Definition of designate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to indicate and set apart for a specific purpose, office, or duty designate a group to prepare a plan
2a : to point out the location of a marker designating the battle
b : to distinguish as to class (see class entry 1 sense 3) the area we designate as that of spiritual values— J. B. Conant
c : specify, stipulate to be sent by a designated shipper
3 : denote associate names with the people they designate
4 : to call by a distinctive title, term, or expression a particle designated the neutron

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from designate

Verb

designative \ ˈde-​zig-​ˌnā-​tiv How to pronounce designative (audio) \ adjective
designator \ ˈde-​zig-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce designator (audio) \ noun
designatory \ ˈde-​zig-​nə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce designatory (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for designate

Synonyms: Verb

appoint, fix, name, set

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of designate in a Sentence

Verb

The wooden stakes designate the edge of the building site. the designated time for the meeting

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Ratti and his team created a series of wooden modules that are embedded with lights that could help direct vehicle and pedestrian traffic, as well as designate bike lanes or hazard zones. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Futuristic road concept is made of reconfigurable parts that light up," 6 Aug. 2018 Although rediscovered only in 2013 near the town of Pamukkale — famous for its surreal, Unesco-designate travertine hot spring terraces — the cave’s existence has been known since antiquity as part of what was then Hierapolis. Time, "Animals Dropped Dead Inside Roman 'Gate to Hell.' Scientists Just Figured Out Why," 22 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Google would work with cities to rezone land that is mostly designated for office or commercial uses. Emily Deruy, The Mercury News, "Google pledges $1 billion to ease Bay Area housing crisis," 18 June 2019 Recognized as one of the most beautiful roads in America, the San Juan Skyway is designated as an All-American Road, a National Forest Scenic Byway and a Colorado Scenic and Historical Byway. Joshua Berman, The Know, "6 beautiful Colorado highways that are great for summer road trips," 17 June 2019 Nearby Sintra's cultural landscape is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Porto, just a few hours away by train, holds UNESCO status thanks to its historic city center. Leora Arnowitz, USA TODAY, "Portugal is the new hot travel destination. Here's why," 13 June 2019 Stewart, a longtime advocate for the 9/11 community, pointed out that the only empty seats in the room were designated for lawmakers. Tara Law, Time, "Jon Stewart, in a Heated Speech, Slammed Congress' 'Disrespect' for 9/11 Victims," 11 June 2019 In 2016 the area around the Stonewall Inn, still a popular destination for the LGBT community, was designated a national monument. Lizz Schumer, Redbook, "What is Pride Month? Your Guide to the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall," 10 June 2019 Right-hander Nick Kingham, who surrendered a three-run homer Friday night to Ryan Braun, was designated for assignment. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 5, Pirates 3: Zach Davies becomes first starter in club history to start season 7-0," 8 June 2019 No friends ever reported her missing, so she was designated a Jane Doe — her burial service attended only by grave diggers. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "She was killed 37 years ago — and her friends just found out: 'She was my bridesmaid'," 7 June 2019 Nearly $1 million was designated for Harvey, with the city set to receive $300,000 for roadways and another $300,000 for streetlights. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: Towns may have to wait years to get funds through Rebuild Illinois capital plan," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'designate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of designate

Adjective

1629, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for designate

Adjective and Verb

Latin designatus, past participle of designare — see design entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about designate

Statistics for designate

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for designate

The first known use of designate was in 1596

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for designate

designate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of designate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : chosen for a particular job but not officially doing that job yet

designate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of designate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to officially choose (someone or something) to do or be something : to officially give (someone or something) a particular role or purpose
: to call (something or someone) by a particular name or title
: to be used as a name for (something or someone)

designate

verb
des·​ig·​nate | \ ˈde-zig-ˌnāt How to pronounce designate (audio) \
designated; designating

Kids Definition of designate

1 : to appoint or choose for a special purpose They designated a leader.
2 : to call by a name or title Let's designate this angle of the triangle a.
3 : to mark or point out : indicate These lines designate the boundaries.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on designate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!