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

In 2014, The Rocks was designated an American viticultural area, a sub-region of the 2,000-acre Walla Walla Valley AVA. Washington Post, "Like wine from France’s Rhone Valley? Head to Walla Walla," 10 Sep. 2019 Officials also designated Honduras and Nicaragua for TPS in the late 1990s after Hurricane Mitch hit. Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, "Bahamas residents are fleeing Dorian's devastation. Here's how the US has treated migrants escaping past disasters," 9 Sep. 2019 The City Council electoral districts are designated on the map appended to this charter amendment and made part hereof. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Should some Cincinnati council seats be elected by district? These citizens think so.," 8 Sep. 2019 Opened by Sid Grauman in 1922, the iconic Egyptian Theater has been designated a Los Angeles historic-cultural monument and is one of the few remaining repertory theaters in the city the film business calls home. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: Safety flaws aboard the Conception," 7 Sep. 2019 Half Dome was designated a wilderness area in 1964, after the summit cables had been installed by the Sierra Club in 1919. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Woman falls 500 feet to her death from cables at Half Dome in Yosemite," 6 Sep. 2019 Chapter 12 is designated for family farmers and family fishermen under distress that write a plan to pay back creditors in three to five years. Dana Ferguson, Twin Cities, "Gov. Walz looks to build Japan and Korea ties during trade mission as U.S.-China tariffs war escalates," 6 Sep. 2019 He was designated for assignment on Sept. 3, and cleared waivers to re-join the franchise. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Kyle Freeland’s season is lost, just like the Rockies. But 2020 will truly indicate where the southpaw stands.," 6 Sep. 2019 Only two routes were officially designated until 2011. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Some Santee streets becoming part of national bike route," 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

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

authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!