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 lieu of a more official designation, the Brooklyn bug was given the moniker Agrilus species 9895. Michael Gold, New York Times, "Meet the Beetles: Newly Discovered Brooklynites Have 6 Legs," 1 Aug. 2019 Regardless of official designations or not, ultimate, like many other sports, is an intensely athletic activity showcasing a player’s skills. Scott Akanewich, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Ultimate’ not your dad’s Frisbee game," 24 July 2019 On Thursday, nine schools received the first Seal of Excelencia designation, including the University of Texas at El Paso, South Texas College, El Paso Community College and the Austin Community College District. Dallas News, "These Texas schools are the best at helping Latino students find success," 21 June 2019 Adding a dose of absurdity to the broth, the city’s ever-pliant landmarks commission in 2012 found old Prentice worthy of preliminary designation — and rescinded the decision at the same meeting based on an economic impact report. Blair Kamin,, "Is Northwestern’s new medical research building a world-class structure? The building, and the answer, are incomplete.," 13 June 2019 Each of these designations provides a specific set of protections. National Geographic, "How do we decide which species are endangered or threatened?," 22 Apr. 2019 It also should have considered whether the government agency’s balancing of the benefits and costs of the designation – estimates ranged from nothing to a $33 million loss for the property owners – was flawed, Roberts and the court held. Robert Barnes, The Seattle Times, "Supreme Court deals a setback to the endangered dusky gopher frog," 27 Nov. 2018 Donna Tucker, 60, was reported missing, the New Haven Register said, but police were suspicious of that designation. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "‘God got into my body,’ man said after killing mother with baseball bat, Connecticut police say," 11 June 2018 Martin pointed out that there is no federal or state regulatory designation of PFAS compounds as hazardous, and no requirement for the MDC to test for them in biosolids. Gregory B. Hladky,, "An ‘emerging pollutant’ in the Farmington River triggers claims about misinformation, worries about burning contaminated sludge," 17 July 2019

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

5 Aug 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).


a period when something is suspended

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