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)

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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

marker, tag, ticket

Synonyms: Verb

mark, tag, ticket

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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

That label is sold online and industry sources say marketers often fill an empty cartridge with potentially unsafe ingredients and sell to unsuspecting customers. Anchorage Daily News, "Lung illness tied to vaping has killed five people, may be a new ‘worrisome’ disease, officials say," 7 Sep. 2019 Manufacturers also must list ingredients on product labels. Naomi Martin, BostonGlobe.com, "Are marijuana vapes from licensed stores safe? Mass. lacks regulations on additives," 6 Sep. 2019 Hers was a gutsy, label-defying career defined by a love of all kinds of music. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Magnificent Linda Ronstadt," 5 Sep. 2019 After Lil Nas X propelled his viral TikTok hits into a record-breaking number one song and a major label deal, TikTok has another viral star: Stunna Girl. Melissa Locker, Time, "TikTok Star Stunna Girl Sparks the Flashy 'Runway' Challenge," 4 Sep. 2019 Bobby Shea White Witch Drummer with Tampa combo whose proggy, psych-glam sound stretched sonic parameters at quintessential Southern-rock label Capricorn Records. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The 25 ‘most Southern rock’ musician names in Southern rock," 4 Sep. 2019 Stewart doesn't like labels but has been romantically linked to people of all genders. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "Kristen Stewart Was Told She ‘Might Get A Marvel Movie’ if She Kept Her Sexuality Quiet," 3 Sep. 2019 On her site, Lab Muffin (labmuffin.com), the chemist demystifies scientific lingo and product labels to help inform laypeople and promote critical thinking about abstruse beauty claims. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "25 People Changing the Beauty Industry," 3 Sep. 2019 The narcolepsy medication modafinil is among the most common medications in the United States to be consumed off-label. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The conservative commentariat’s love affair with nootropics," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Each year, the Indonesian government approves export quotas for more than a million geckos labelled as bred in captivity. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "A Once Common Gecko Is Vanishing from Parts of Asia," 20 Aug. 2019 By taking the symbolic but extraordinary step of labeling China a currency manipulator for — wait for it — not manipulating its currency enough. Daniel W. Drezner, Twin Cities, "Daniel Drezner: This trade war will get out of control," 7 Aug. 2019 Cuba, Brazil, India, and France, for example, all have vastly different ways of labeling their own inhabitants. Charles King, Time, "American Students Are Taught Racism Is Bad—But They're Still Not Learning the Truth About Race," 6 Aug. 2019 These days, anyone who still genuflects at the altar of cinema amid our putative streaming-service renaissance runs the risk of being labeled hopelessly retrograde. Los Angeles Times, "Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,’ the haunting work of a filmmaker running out of time," 26 July 2019 The film was developed, and then the negatives were placed in envelopes, labeled and placed in a cabinet. Richard Vokes, Quartz Africa, "A recently discovered trove of photos shows life in Uganda during Idi Amin’s troubled reign," 30 June 2019 Hike Attempting to label record setters on the trail can be complicated and confusing. Mary Beth Skylis, Outside Online, "How Jeff Garmire Set the Arizona Trail FKT," 15 June 2019 How to Set Up the Miku: Unboxing the Miku is like opening a new Google Pixel or Apple product—everything's sleek, clearly labeled, and well-positioned. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "This Baby Monitor Tracks My Baby's Breathing, and I Can Finally Sleep at Night," 11 June 2019 The purpose of the bill is to provide a way to support dairy farmers by buying specially labeled milk for an extra 50 cents per gallon. USA TODAY, "Smokey Bear, tarantula trek, censoring Adam and Eve: News from around our 50 states," 9 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for label

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for label

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

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More Definitions for label

label

noun

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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on label

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with label

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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