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

To earn the designation, a city must take two actions: adopt a resolution establishing the five ethics principles for the conduct of city’s officials, and adopt an ethics ordinance that meets minimum standards approved by the GMA Board. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Lawrenceville recognized as newest ‘City of Ethics’," 6 July 2018 The team had worked hard to earn a coveted federal designation in the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, which provides money, training and resources to those policing the most saturated areas. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "How a McDonald's receipt crippled an elite Louisville drug-fighting team," 18 June 2018 Braatz earned designation as a master municipal clerk from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 2013. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "High-pressure, bring it on. West Allis' new clerk shows fledgling clerks how to succeed," 30 May 2018 More than 1,400 schools participated in the 2018-2019 survey with 941 earning the designation. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 15 May 2018 In the case of China, direct intervention in its currency market, if large enough, could earn it the manipulator designation. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "U.S. Again Declines to Designate China as a Currency Manipulator," 13 Apr. 2018 Last year, 463 of the 645 students who graduated accrued 10 or more Pathway credits, earning a special designation on their transcripts, a sort of postsecondary résumé-builder. Sarah Gonser, NBC News, "Students are being prepared for jobs that no longer exist. Here's how that could change.," 12 Apr. 2018 To earn a healthcare equality leader designation, the facility has to score a 100 in each of these categories. Maria Clark,, "3 New Orleans health providers named leaders in LGBT care," 3 Apr. 2018 Clarendon Hills will receive a designation as a United States Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Community, and all energy produced will be considered renewable energy. Chuck Fieldman,, "Clarendon Hills opts for renewable electricity option for aggregation," 20 June 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

10 Jun 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

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