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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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

If the collection is granted the honor, all of the works will receive the World Heritage designation. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "8 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings nominated to be World Heritage Sites," 20 Dec. 2018 The revelation that the Valkyrie drone is named XQ-58C ends speculation as to which mystery aircraft had received the X-58 designation. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Valkyrie Drone, a Sidekick for Human-Piloted Planes, Will Fly This Year," 12 July 2018 The town is also beginning the process to become recertified as a Maryland Sustainable Community, and its economic development director, Trish Heidenreich, has received a national designation as a Certified Economic Developer. Allan Vought, The Aegis, "Bel Air achieves several milestones, seeks sustainable community recertification," 10 July 2018 More than 300 towns have received the designation so far in the U.K., according to the BBC. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "'Plastic-free' town congratulates itself with a banner. A plastic banner," 13 June 2018 Buy Photo The Philadelphia Historical Commission on Friday gave neighborhood groups and the attorney for the Boys and Girls Club of Germantown 90 days to work out an agreement over whether the 1898 building should receive historic designation. Valerie Russ,, "Decision on Boys and Girls Club in Germantown delayed," 8 June 2018 Then, when the area receives this designation, your property taxes are frozen at that level. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "CEO helps steer investment to East Side," 1 June 2018 Other municipalities that received the designation include Bridgeport, East Hartford, Stamford, Manchester, West Hartford and Meriden. Jenna Carlesso, Courant Community, "Ten Hartford 'Opportunity Zones' Approved By U.S. Treasury Department," 18 May 2018 Approximately 437,000 immigrants from 10 countries affected by civil war, extreme violence or natural disasters have received the TPS designation. Maria Clark,, "57,000 Hondurans lose protected status in the U.S.," 4 May 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

18 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for designation

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

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More Definitions for designation



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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Comments on designation

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to express emotion in a dramatic way

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