des·​ig·​na·​tion | \ˌde-zig-ˈnā-shən \

Definition of designation 

1 : the act of indicating or identifying the designation of a speech sound

2 : appointment to or selection for an office, post, or service awaiting his next designation

3 : a distinguishing name, sign, or title … the only star in Lynx with a Greek letter designation— Richard Berry approved the area's designation as a wildlife refuge

4 : the relation between a sign and the thing signified

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Synonyms & Antonyms for designation


appointment, assignment, commission


discharge, dismissal, dismission, expulsion, firing

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Examples of designation in a Sentence

Though many people call her a liberal, it is not a designation she uses herself. we've never given the homemade gadget a proper designation

Recent Examples on the Web

The city got something from Amazon—a promised 5,000 jobs—but escaped the logistical nightmare of an official designation as the company’s second headquarters, with its estimated 50,000 positions. Cari Wade Gervin, Curbed, "Will Amazon be good for Nashville?," 21 Nov. 2018 Del Sur’s ranch house received the county’s first LEED Platinum designation in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Roger Showley,, "Black Mountain Ranch area: New master-planned communities garner environmental awards, bring 'sacred light'," 22 June 2018 Pitcher Eddie Escribano dominated that season, going 14-1 with a 0.96 ERA, earning The Miami Herald’s designation as the county’s Baseball Player of the Year. Walter Villa, miamiherald, "The key players on Coral Park's 1978 championship team," 7 June 2018 In a letter to McCaskill on Monday, Postmaster General Megan Brennan wrote that the issue has been resolved and those who previously suffered from border confusion can now use Missouri as their state designation. Jim Salter, The Seattle Times, "Quirk resolved: Border Missourians get Missouri addresses," 25 Sep. 2018 True to their new designation, these oversize mums can measure 2 to 3 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet across by their third season,with a massive canopy of flowers — up to 5,000 per plant. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow the Most Gorgeous Chrysanthemums This Fall," 9 Aug. 2018 Further, an agency official acknowledged the prior administration allowed taxpayer money to flow to the group even after its designation was discovered. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Obama administration approved $200G grant to group with Al Qaeda ties," 27 July 2018 In order to qualify and then be approved by the County Council for a PUD to alter its zoning designation, the developer must include some benefit to the community that would not otherwise be obtained. Libby Solomon,, "Widespread support, a couple passionate detractors at Bosley Estates public meeting," 12 July 2018 The lot may not be big enough to support six townhouses by-right in its current residential zoning designation — possibly requiring a variance. Caitlin Mccabe,, "Developer Ori Feibush begins demolition of Christian Street Baptist," 9 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for designation

see designate entry 1

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for designation

The first known use of designation was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of designation

: the act of officially choosing someone or something to do or be something

: a name or title that identifies someone or something


des·​ig·​na·​tion | \ˌde-zig-ˈnā-shən \

Kids Definition of designation

1 : an act of choosing to be or do something Voters approved designation of the land as a wildlife refuge.

2 : a name, sign, or title that identifies something His official designation is Chief of Security.

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