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

Example Sentences

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 Duncan Robinson: Undrafted in 2018 from Michigan after starting his college career at Division III Williams College, Robinson had been relegated to the bench until Herro’s injury. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 31 May 2023 Leeds lost, Leicester won; both were relegated anyway. Rory Smith, New York Times, 28 May 2023 For Kevin Lihuan Lee, a film production master’s student at Columbia University, growing up watching movies that gave nuance to white characters while relegating people of color to stereotypical or one-dimensional roles taught him to view white experiences as a universal default. Brahmjot Kaur, NBC News, 12 May 2023 Watts’ new club, Burnley, was relegated from the Premier League in 2022, but just weeks ago won promotion back up to the top flight for next season. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 11 May 2023 Feminist arts criticism over the last half-century has enumerated the myriad ways—institutional, pictorial, psychosocial—that women and women artists have been relegated to inferior status. Laura Kipnis, The New Republic, 5 May 2023 Sports, like everything else, was instantly relegated to the background. Hayden Bird,, 16 Apr. 2023 But uneven throttle responses and unpleasant, unsporting sounds relegate it to the budget-buyer’s choice. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 24 Mar. 2023 But Robeson has been relegated to obscurity because of his pro-Black and anti-colonial views. Ken Makin, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Mar. 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 9 Jun. 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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