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 labelling (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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from label

Verb

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

Synonyms for label

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For the past six years, Moses Sumney has tried to shake the labels given to him by critics and casual fans. Marcus J. Moore, EW.com, "Moses Sumney's græ is a sonic marvel," 14 May 2020 The wine label is named for Miriam’s late father, Honorio Ramirez Mata, a farmworker who always dreamed of owning his own winery. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Will the coronavirus destroy smallest wineries?," 11 May 2020 Hendricks Family Distillery, Omro, makes Oatmeal Apple Crisp moonshine under The Shinery label and uses locally tapped syrup for Mountain Maple moonshine. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "100 years after Prohibition, moonshine escapes its back-roads origins," 5 May 2020 The few labels that have sold masks to the public have been careful to link the transaction to a social mission. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "J. Crew is selling pinstriped cotton masks in banker blue," 1 May 2020 The label details how to use the product for your skin, hair, and even laundry, making it a great multitasking product for travelers prone to forgetting a toiletry or two at home. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Natural Beauty Products for Your Dopp Kit," 30 Apr. 2020 Kunis even designed the blank slate label to encourage people to communicate by adding their own messages, poems and drawings to the bottle. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Hollywood power-couple’s Oregon quarantine wine is an overnight sensation," 29 Apr. 2020 The map showed when nonurgent medical procedures were suspended by state; from the left, the labels should have read March 18-19, March 20-23, March 24-27 and April 1-6. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 27 Apr. 2020 In my estimation, the company was likely to continue felling trees with or without the FSC label—which offered a rare and valuable opportunity to protect the rights and resources of the Pygmies. Jerome Lewis, Scientific American, "How Sustainable Development Ravaged the Congo Basin," 26 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb His medical center was labeled un-American and subversive. John Blake, CNN, "What Americans who beat the Great Depression can teach us today," 7 May 2020 Other false claims were not labeled as misinformation, despite being declared by fact-checkers as false. Barbara Ortutay And Amanda Seitz, USA TODAY, "Did you like a hoax? Facebook to warn users who 'liked' coronavirus hoaxes," 17 Apr. 2020 The coronavirus was labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday. John Gage, Washington Examiner, "'Unhygienic and dangerous': Hong Kong environmental activists angry at single-use face masks," 12 Mar. 2020 Fourth-round Harrison Bryant was labelled the best route runner among tight ends by PFF, and was ranked sixth at the position. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "Browns Draft Winners and Losers: Olivier Vernon, PFF and a tough act to follow," 27 Apr. 2020 The versions have been labeled by letters like 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and 802.11ac. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "What is Wi-Fi 6?," 23 Apr. 2020 Those items weren't labeled by race, but candidates statewide have spoken out against Growth and Opportunity PAC attacks. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "Pro-Householder Super PAC spent more than $1 million on Ohio GOP primaries, including two Clermont County races," 17 Apr. 2020 Other false claims were not labeled as misinformation, despite being declared by fact-checkers as false. Barbara Ortutay, Amanda Seitz, Anchorage Daily News, "Facebook to alert users who ‘liked’ coronavirus hoax posts," 16 Apr. 2020 Without sufficient testing, many deaths may not be labeled with Covid-19 for official statistics, leading to an underestimation of the severity of the crisis. Anup Malani, Quartz India, "Why does India have so few Covid-19 cases and deaths?," 16 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about label

Time Traveler for label

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for label

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Label.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/label. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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 labelling (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)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on label

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for label

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with label

Spanish Central: Translation of label

Nglish: Translation of label for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of label for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about label

Comments on label

What made you want to look up label? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!