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

That is effectively a nod of approval from the FDA for the GRAS designation. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "PETA roasts Impossible Burger for rat tests, suggests patties cause cancer," 11 Aug. 2018 In applying for the designation, Dark Sky calculated that over the last decade, the area has averaged 286 clear nights per year. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "Vacation in Portugal the Less-Obvious Way," 10 Aug. 2018 The National Park Service is the plane’s only custodian and the wreck site is under consideration for National Historic Landmark designation. Andrew Craft, Fox News, "70 years after B-29 crash in Vegas, new footage of wreckage is released," 24 July 2018 Any match that doesn’t include Brazil is a worthy candidate for this designation, because any of those matches may prove decisive in determining who makes it out of the group. Daniel Rapaport,, "2018 World Cup Group E Preview: It's Brazil and Three Challengers for Second," 8 June 2018 Campbell has been among those pushing for the landmark designation. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Geneva declares Old Mill Race Inn building a landmark," 9 May 2018 Repeat award: For the second consecutive year, Lakewood City Schools were honored with the Best Communities for Music Education award designation from the NAMM Foundation for district's commitment to music education. Carol Kovach,, "Lakewood/Rocky River Rotary honors speech, music, visual arts contest winners: A Place in the Sun," 24 Apr. 2018 In 2014, spurred by eviction attempts, the longtime tenants who lived upstairs applied to the San Francisco Planning Department for historic landmark designation. Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, "What qualifies as historic? For SF city officials, perhaps a cafe facade that’s only 4 years old.," 6 Apr. 2018 After what happened at CenturyLink Field on Monday night, though, the designation will be of little comfort. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "What the national media are saying about the Seahawks’ win over the Vikings on #MNF," 11 Dec. 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

7 Jan 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 \

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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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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