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

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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

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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

The year before, Zara withdrew a miniskirt featuring a cartoon that resembled Pepe the Frog, a character designated as an alt-right hate symbol. New York Times, "Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Furor," 2 July 2019 NEWS National Trust for Historic Preservation launches crowdfunding campaign Last June, Nina Simone’s childhood home in Tryon, North Carolina was designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "John Legend, Yusuf/Cat Stevens and More Join Crusade to Restore Nina Simone's Childhood Home," 1 July 2019 Arkansas Little Rock: The Buffalo National River park has been designated as the state’s first International Dark Sky Park. USA TODAY, "Whiskey webs, alien abductions, goldfish invasion: News from around our 50 states," 25 June 2019 Iran retaliates by designating the US military as a terrorist group. Jen Kirby, Vox, "US-Iran standoff: a timeline," 21 June 2019 Last April, Pompeo and Bolton successfully overruled Pentagon concerns in getting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Council designated as a terrorist organization. Adam Weinstein, The New Republic, "Who Is Actually Running the U.S. Military’s Iran Efforts?," 18 June 2019 Southworth filed an open records request asking to know who Bevin had designated as the person who could fire the lieutenant governor's staff. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "McConnell was behind kicking Jenean Hampton off Bevin's reelection ticket, fired aide says," 15 June 2019 Kihavah is located off a beautiful sandy island in the Baa Atoll, which has been officially designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its stunning coral reefs and prolific marine life. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "9 Beautiful Overwater Bungalows Around the World," 13 June 2019 Jose Portillo, the city administrator in Presidio and a former state trooper, is close to some of the Border Patrol agents stationed here, a station that not long ago was officially designated as a hardship post. John Maccormack, ExpressNews.com, "Border immigration surge reaches the Big Bend," 10 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.

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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

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Statistics for designate

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Time Traveler for designate

The first known use of designate was in 1596

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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.

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Comments on designate

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