des·​ig·​na·​tion | \ ˌde-zig-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce designation (audio) \

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

In fact, even that designation doesn’t encapsulate the level of entitlement required to complain about which night you’ll be paid to drink beer and point, slack-jawed, at the firelit sky. Nestor Ramos,, "The Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year. And that presents some . . . challenges," 2 July 2018 Under that designation, Pounds may apply for reinstatement after three years. Andy Marso And Max Londberg, kansascity, "Overland Park chiropractor loses license after two patients allege sexual abuse," 27 June 2018 Only once did the Astrodome fail to live up to that designation: On June 15, 1976, heavy rains resulted in the Houston Astros postponing a match-up with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Matt Levin, Houston Chronicle, "Only 'rainout' in Astrodome history occurred today in 1976," 15 June 2018 That designation was approved in September 2017, and prevents the owners from making any alteration to the building’s main facade without city approval. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Developers to make case for building surrounding old Nichols Library at commission hearing," 24 May 2018 Qualified Opportunity Zones retain this designation for 10 years. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Portions of Peachtree Corners, Norcross designated Opportunity Zone," 21 May 2018 That designation prevents the deportation of immigrants from countries suffering from conditions like natural disasters, epidemics and war, while giving them permission to work in the US. Tal Kopan, CNN, "DHS terminations of protected status ignored diplomats' recommendations, report says," 9 May 2018 That designation also pushed Kirk out of the first round, with only Ridley and Moore projected in the first. Brent Zwerneman, San Antonio Express-News, "Kirk could keep Aggie NFL tradition going," 25 Apr. 2018 Schools earn that designation through the foundation's annual assessment, which includes a visit by outside educators. Hartford Courant,, "The Finance Career Academy At New Britain High School Wins Honor," 23 Apr. 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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Statistics for designation

Last Updated

1 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce designation (audio) \

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

What made you want to look up designation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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