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 The plan includes the designation of spaces to demonstrate, the limiting of city bus routes, road closures, a curfew and protective fencing in some areas. Fox News, "Wisconsin governor authorizes National Guard to Kenosha ahead of Jacob Blake charging decision," 5 Jan. 2021 Almost the entirety of the Brooks Range is protected from development, and even considering the designation of the National Petroleum reserve to the west and development in Prudhoe Bay, the vast majority of this Arctic landscape is untouched. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Drilling for Oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Two Perspectives from Alaskan Outdoorsmen," 21 Dec. 2020 Sarah Zenaida Gould, a District 7 resident and cultural heritage expert, also has supported historic designation of the site. Scott Huddleston,, "Ties to historic Guilbeau family may save ranch buildings on San Antonio’s Northwest Side," 21 Dec. 2020 Facebook staff’s designation of India hasn’t previously been reported. Jeff Horwitz, WSJ, "In India, Facebook Fears Crackdown on Hate Groups Could Backfire on Its Staff," 13 Dec. 2020 On Tuesday, members of the nation’s House of Representatives called for the designation of the TPLF and the OLF-Shane as terrorist groups. Samuel Gebre,, "Ethiopia Risks Descent Into Civil War as Tensions Flare," 4 Nov. 2020 Yet there’s a glimmer amid the gloom: the designation of Greece’s first underwater museum. Travel, "Diving into Greece’s first underwater museum," 2 Dec. 2020 But with Trump holding out and attempting to sow confusion, his appointee at the General Services Administration has yet to make a formal designation of Biden as the president-elect., "Trump conclusively lost, denies the evidence," 16 Nov. 2020 Twenty-five counties had the most severe designation of virus spread, with 25 or more cases per 100,000 residents. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Surprise vacation, yard sale reprieve, teacher sick day: News from around our 50 states," 12 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for designation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for designation

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Designation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for designation


How to pronounce designation (audio)

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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