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

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 After that closed in 1987, the economy became defined by tourism, which grew steadily after the dunes were designated a national park in 1970. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "Dollar store wants to infiltrate popular Up North vacation spot — and town fights back," 2 Dec. 2019 Lee is the second player designated to return from IR by the Raiders, who also brought back cornerback Isaiah Johnson and have reached their limit. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders waive Trevor Davis, activate Marquel Lee from IR," 2 Dec. 2019 Last week, Trump tweeted that Gallagher must be allowed to keep his Trident pin, the medal that designates a SEAL member. Julie Watson, The Denver Post, "Fired Navy Secretary Spencer criticizes Trump in SEAL case," 28 Nov. 2019 Last week, Trump tweeted that Gallagher must be allowed to keep his Trident pin, the medal that designates a SEAL member. Julie Watson, Twin Cities, "Fired Navy Secretary Spencer criticizes Trump in SEAL case," 28 Nov. 2019 Two decades later, after mail volumes had grown exponentially, Postmaster J. Edward Day adopted a version of that plan, adding a fourth and fifth digit designating a specific post office. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "Why Do Mosquitoes Exist? Why Do Elephants and Donkeys Represent the GOP and the Democrats? And More Questions From Our Readers," 21 Nov. 2019 Nearly 200,000 homes and businesses in areas designated as high fire hazard severity zones will receive the guides in the mail starting the week of Oct. 28. Ramona Sentinel, "County to mail disaster plans to severe fire-risk areas," 18 Oct. 2019 The state drink is milk, the tree is the White Oak and the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly was designated Maryland’s state insect in 1973. Lois Szymanski, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Szymanski: From blue crabs to sailing to black-eyed Susans, so many reasons to love Maryland," 4 Oct. 2019 See the full list of winners designated by Fandango’s annual survey below: Top Ten Most Anticipated Fall Movies: 1. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "It Chapter Two tops Fandango survey of most anticipated fall movies," 3 Sep. 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

Time Traveler for designate

Time Traveler

The first known use of designate was in 1596

See more words from the same year

Statistics for designate

Cite this Entry

“Designate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/designates. Accessed 7 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for designate

designate

adjective
How to pronounce designate (audio)

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
How to pronounce designate (audio)

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

the study of flags

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!