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 Thankful there are finally some Oscar contenders that can buoy the broadcast and keep the show alive — and hopeful that the Academy will no longer relegate artisan categories to second-class status. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 24 Nov. 2022 Zeno emphasizes that parents mold the child and must not relegate that privileged task to specialists. Ruth R. Wisse, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 And Tecovas doesn’t just relegate you to the color blue, either; options run from light brown to a crisp white, the latter of which is the natural color of undyed denim. Graham Averill, Outside Online, 13 Oct. 2022 The weakest nonconference schedule in the country will probably relegate Michigan to vying for fourth with Clemson on Tuesday. Ralph D. Russo, ajc, 30 Oct. 2022 These days, health-care systems often relegate psychiatrists to prescribing and little else. Sally Satel, Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2022 During the pandemic, however, the United States wisely did not relegate procurement of these products to the diverse slew of public and private insurance programs that cover most Americans. Adam Gaffney, The New Republic, 24 Aug. 2022 Sure, the studio might be able to send a team of lawyers after Drew and forever relegate her film to a lost folder on her hard drive. WIRED, 18 Sep. 2022 And as for Eddie, a would-be leading man, his Asian features relegate him to voiceovers and bit parts, confinements reflecting another ugly facet of wartime xenophobia. Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2022 See More

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

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 8 Dec. 2022.

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

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