rel·​e·​gate ˈre-lə-ˌgāt How to pronounce relegate (audio)
relegated; relegating

transitive verb

: to send into exile : banish
: assign: such as
: to assign to a place of insignificance or of oblivion : put out of sight or mind
: to assign to an appropriate place or situation on the basis of classification or appraisal
: to submit to someone or something for appropriate action : delegate
: to transfer (a sports team) to a lower ranking division
relegation noun

Did you know?

Originally relegate meant "to send into exile, banish". So when you relegate an old sofa to the basement, you're sending it to home-decorating Siberia. When confronted with a matter that no one really wants to face, a chief executive may relegate it to a committee "for further study", which may manage to ignore it for years. It may be annoying to read a newspaper article about a pet project and find that your own contributions have been relegated to a short sentence near the end.

Choose the Right Synonym for relegate

commit, entrust, confide, consign, relegate mean to assign to a person or place for a definite purpose.

commit may express the general idea of delivering into another's charge or the special sense of transferring to a superior power or to a special place of custody.

committed the felon to prison

entrust implies committing with trust and confidence.

the president is entrusted with broad powers

confide implies entrusting with great assurance or reliance.

confided complete control of my affairs to my attorney

consign suggests removing from one's control with formality or finality.

consigned the damaging notes to the fire

relegate implies a consigning to a particular class or sphere often with a suggestion of getting rid of.

relegated to an obscure position in the company

Examples of relegate in a Sentence

The bill has been relegated to committee for discussion. courtiers and generals who incurred the emperor's disfavor were soon relegated to the farther reaches of the empire
Recent Examples on the Web But in 1992, the year the Premier League was established, Luton was relegated to the division below. Simon Akam, The New Yorker, 10 Nov. 2023 The success of Combs’s cover isn’t only relegated to the CMAs. Tracy Chapman, Vulture, 9 Nov. 2023 In 2022, the championship game had been relegated to a noon start time, outside of CBS Sports’ primetime window, until one of the NWSL’s sponsors upped its media investment prompting the network to shift the game to the more desirable 8 p.m. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 9 Nov. 2023 Wrexham had been relegated outside the top-four leagues since 2008 after 87 straight years competing in the Football League. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2023 Blade was relegated to the fourth lead, a bizarre idea considering that the studio had two-time Oscar winner Ali on board. Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 1 Nov. 2023 And, what if you’re approached to take on a role that falls outside of those typically relegated to friends or family members, such as officiant? Jenny Berg, Vogue, 17 Oct. 2023 Rather than relegating Black comics to bars and hip-hop clubs far away from Hollywood, Murdock’s showcase is the proving ground where showbiz scouts sneak into the audience to watch talent that rarely gets to shine aside from Chocolate Sundaes at the Laugh Factory and Monderays at the Improv. Nate Jackson, Los Angeles Times, 11 Oct. 2023 Court staff have regularly admitted only reporters from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to sit in the courtroom, relegating other reporters – including those from Rolling Stone – to a media observation room. George Chidi, Rolling Stone, 1 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'relegate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin relegatus, past participle of relegare, from re- + legare to send with a commission — more at legate

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of relegate was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near relegate

Cite this Entry

“Relegate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


rel·​e·​gate ˈrel-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce relegate (audio)
relegated; relegating
: to remove or dismiss to a less important place
relegate some old books to the attic
: to refer or hand over for decision or carrying out
relegate that matter to a special committee
relegation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on relegate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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