label

noun
la·​bel | \ ˈlā-bəl How to pronounce label (audio) \

Definition of label

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a slip (as of paper or cloth) inscribed and affixed to something for identification or description The name is prominently displayed on the label.
b : written or printed matter accompanying an article to furnish identification or other information Read the warning label before taking any medicine.
c : a descriptive or identifying word or phrase: such as
(1) : epithet acquired the label of "playboy"
(2) : a word or phrase used with a dictionary definition to provide additional information The label obsolete is abbreviated obs.
d : a usually radioactive isotope used in labeling
2a(1) : a brand of commercial recordings issued under a usually trademarked name
(2) : a company issuing such recordings The band has made records for several different labels.
(3) : a recording so issued
b : the brand name of a retail store selling clothing, a clothing manufacturer, or a fashion designer She only buys clothes with a designer label.
3 : an adhesive stamp (as for postage or revenue)
4 : a heraldic charge that consists of a narrow horizontal band with usually three pendants
5 archaic : band, fillet specifically : one attached to a document to hold an appended seal

label

verb
labeled or labelled; labeling or labelling\ ˈlā-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce label (audio) \

Definition of label (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to affix a label to labeled the switches so as not to confuse them
b : to describe or designate with or as if with a label labels his photos with the date and place they were taken
2a : to distinguish (an element or atom) by using an isotope (see isotope sense 1) distinctive in some manner (as in mass or radioactivity)
b : to distinguish (something, such as a compound or cell) by introducing a traceable constituent (such as a dye or labeled atom)

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Other Words from label

Verb

labelable \ ˈlā-​bə-​lə-​bəl How to pronounce label (audio) \ adjective
labeler \ ˈlā-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce label (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for label

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of label in a Sentence

Noun The name is prominently displayed on the label. You should read the warning label before you take any medicine. The word was given the label “obsolete.” Some people describe him as “selfish,” but he doesn't deserve that label. Once you give people labels, it's hard to see them as individuals. The band has made records for several different labels in their career. Verb Be sure to carefully label the switches so that you don't confuse them. He labels his photographs with the date and place they were taken.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fertilize with a low-nitrogen (first number in the three-number sequence on the label) product. oregonlive, "What you need to know about wisteria: Pruning and support are key," 12 Jan. 2021 Champagnes follow a general sweetness scale: The classification on the label will tell you how dry or sweet the wine is. Céline Bossart, NBC News, "The 5 best champagnes of 2020 to celebrate New Year's Eve," 22 Dec. 2020 In 1987, Zimmerman was named president of EMI International Marketing out of the label’s London office. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Don Zimmerman, Former Capitol Records President, Dead at 85," 15 Dec. 2020 If her own public coming-out could happen on her terms, then the weight of the label can fade too. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "How A Queer Icon Made the Holiday Film of the Year," 9 Dec. 2020 The three discuss 100 gecs’ songwriting process, the squishiness of the hyperpop label, and the responsibility of charting a new future for pop music. Ben Montoya, Wired, "The Glitched-Out Sound and Spontaneous Rise of 100 Gecs," 23 Nov. 2020 The rest of the label isn’t included with the sale of Swift’s albums. Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg.com, "Scooter Braun Sells Taylor Swift’s Catalog for $300 Million," 16 Nov. 2020 Johnson already had become owner of a label not talked about enough: The best player to have only one major. Doug Ferguson, courant.com, "Dustin Johnson’s tears were for a green jacket and major validation," 16 Nov. 2020 Wearing New York based label Carolina Herrera, Harris sported an off-white power suit seemingly paying homage to the women’s suffrage movement. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Kamala Harris Wears Carolina Herrera To Historic Acceptance Speech," 9 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The decline spotlights the division within the GOP: Democrats already overwhelmingly disapproved of Trump; the recent drop comes from Republicans, especially those who label themselves moderates, Pew found. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: As Trump splits the GOP, leaders hesitate to choose sides," 15 Jan. 2021 Loan forgiveness would teach them nothing, and label them as part of the welfare state, stripping funds from others most in need through health issues, disabilities and old age. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Student debt, COVID deaths, deployment's effects on kids," 28 Dec. 2020 Others label it a myopic move that shortchanges the talent involved in the projects in an effort to turbocharge the anemic launch of Netflix and Disney+ competitor HBO Max. Los Angeles Times, "Gal Gadot knows this year was rough. She hopes ‘Wonder Woman 1984' will end it on a high," 17 Dec. 2020 Police deemed the death suspicious, but did not label it a homicide despite the fact that someone had buried the body. Author: Wesley Lowery, Hannah Knowles, Mark Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "How America’s deadliest serial killer went undetected for more than 40 years," 1 Dec. 2020 Covid-19 on the same day for the state to label it an outbreak. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Iowa’s Covid Wave and the Limits of Personal Responsibility," 20 Nov. 2020 Georgia Democrats are fighting the GOP effort to label them leftist, which could be politically fatal in a state where most of the electorate leans Republican. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "All eyes now officially on Georgia as GOP Senate majority hangs in the balance," 11 Nov. 2020 The idea that a witch has to look a certain way, have a photo-ready altar or identify with Celtic traditions are some of the reasons Spalter said people of color hesitate to label themselves witches. NBC News, "'We're reclaiming these traditions': Black women embrace the spiritual realm," 30 Oct. 2020 Also Tuesday the court considered a case that deals with voters who label themselves indefinitely confined. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's voter rolls case hinges on Justice Brian Hagedorn, a conservative who sometimes sides with liberals," 29 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'label.' 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 label

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Verb

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for label

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French labelle

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Time Traveler for label

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for label

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Label.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/label. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for label

label

noun
How to pronounce label (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of label

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of paper, cloth, or similar material that is attached to something to identify or describe it
: a word or phrase that describes or identifies something or someone
: a company that produces musical recordings

label

verb

English Language Learners Definition of label (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put a word or name on something to describe or identify it : to attach a label to (something)
: to name or describe (someone or something) in a specified way : to give a label to (someone or something)

label

noun
la·​bel | \ ˈlā-bəl How to pronounce label (audio) \

Kids Definition of label

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a slip (as of paper or cloth) attached to something to identify or describe it
2 : a word or phrase that describes or names something or someone a part-of-speech label

label

verb
labeled or labelled; labeling or labelling

Kids Definition of label (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a word or words on (something) to identify or describe it Be sure to label your belongings.
2 : to name or describe with or as if with a label The team was labeled “the Dream Team.”

label

noun
la·​bel | \ ˈlā-bəl How to pronounce label (audio) \

Medical Definition of label

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a usually radioactive isotope used in labeling
labeled or labelled; labeling or labelling\ ˈlā-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce label (audio) \

Medical Definition of label (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to distinguish (an element or atom) by using an isotope distinctive in some manner (as in mass or radioactivity) for tracing through chemical reactions or biological processes
2 : to distinguish (as a compound or cell) by introducing a traceable constituent (as a dye or labeled atom)

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Comments on label

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