legate

noun
leg·​ate | \ ˈle-gət How to pronounce legate (audio) \

Definition of legate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a usually official emissary

legate

verb
le·​gate | \ li-ˈgāt How to pronounce legate (audio) \
legated; legating

Definition of legate (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from legate

Noun

legateship \ ˈle-​gət-​ˌship How to pronounce legate (audio) \ noun

Verb

legator \ li-​ˈgā-​tər How to pronounce legate (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

Legate is a somewhat old-fashioned word, less used today than it was a century ago. More common is the synonym envoy. In the days before electronic communications, a legate often had particularly large responsibilities, since he couldn't check with his government to be sure he was doing the right thing. The Vatican still sends papal legates to represent the pope's point of view in negotiations.

Examples of legate in a Sentence

Noun the legate was charged with a list of objectives to accomplish on behalf of his country
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the 1520s Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal legate of England, drove forward a similar program of moral and financial reform, winding up a further 29 monasteries. Crawford Gribben, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 The Franciscan Plano Carpini, who traveled the empire as papal legate in 1246, described a draconian tax collector demanding one in three boys from every Russian family, as well as unmarried women. Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books, 6 July 2021 The wife of the ailing emperor sends an Imperial legate — her nephew — to investigate. N. K. Jemisin, New York Times, 14 July 2017 That Francis forced Festing’s resignation without deigning to pick up Burke’s gauntlet was further vindication of the Pope, who will soon appoint his own legate to run the Order. James Carroll, The New Yorker, 1 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of legate

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for legate

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French legat, from Latin legatus "deputy, emissary," from past participle of legare "to delegate, send as emissary, bequeath," from leg-, lex

Verb

legatus, past participle of legare "to bequeath"

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The first known use of legate was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near legate

legatary

legate

legate a latere

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Cite this Entry

“Legate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legate. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on legate

Nglish: Translation of legate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about legate

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