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 Company executives allegedly relegated people of color working overseas in their factories to stockroom jobs. Esme Mazzeo, Peoplemag, 29 Mar. 2024 Touts, the yelling men who would give out 1-900 numbers promising to tell you the right side to bet on in the Dolphins-Bills game, were once relegated to late-night commercials. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, 29 Mar. 2024 As such, some tactics may be relegated to discretionary unilateral action. Alden Abbott, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 If there are any left they will be relegated back to the AA farm league. Daniel Kohn, SPIN, 27 Mar. 2024 Because onside kicks are typically unsuccessful, they are usually relegated to desperation scenarios at the end of a game. Becky Sullivan, NPR, 27 Mar. 2024 The keys include top-row brightness, volume, and microphone mute controls, along with dedicated Home and End keys (though Page Up and Page Down are relegated to the Fn key plus up and down arrows). PCMAG, 27 Mar. 2024 The College Football Playoff’s revenue distribution model, which allocated varying amounts to the conferences, had relegated WSU and OSU to fourth-rate status. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 23 Mar. 2024 This week the sporting spotlight is illuminating a pastime that is regularly relegated to the city’s shadows: basketball. Billy Witz, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2024

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 12 Apr. 2024.

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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