delegate

noun
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio) , -ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio) \

Definition of delegate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person acting for another: such as
a : a representative to a convention or conference U.N. delegates from African nations The nominee netted a handful of delegates in the state's caucus.
b government : a representative of a U.S. territory in the House of Representatives
c government : a member of the lower house of the legislature of Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia

delegate

verb
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio) \
delegated; delegating

Definition of delegate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to entrust to another delegate authority delegated the task to her assistant
2 : to appoint as one's representative

intransitive verb

: to assign responsibility or authority a good manager knows how to delegate

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from delegate

Verb

delegatee \ ˌde-​li-​gə-​ˈtē How to pronounce delegatee (audio) \ noun
delegator \ ˈde-​li-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce delegator (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Verb

To "delegate" is literally or figuratively to send another in one's place, an idea that is reflected in the word’s origin; it is a descendant of Latin legare, meaning "to send as an emissary." Other English words that can be traced back to "legare" include "legate" ("a usually official emissary"), "legacy," "colleague," and "relegate." The noun delegate, meaning "a person acting for another," entered English in the 15th century, followed by the verb in the next century.

Examples of delegate in a Sentence

Noun

the U.N. delegates from African countries He's been chosen as a delegate to the convention.

Verb

A manager should delegate authority to the best employees. Those chores can be delegated to someone else. He doesn't delegate very well.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 4 July 2019 The statement from delegates Cheryl Turpin and Kelly Convirs-Fowler says elected officials have not received a briefing from police or city officials since the week of the May 31 shooting. Washington Post, "The Latest: Separate probe considered for Virginia shooting," 25 June 2019 The Italian bid was chosen over the only other candidate, a dual bid between Stockholm and the ski resort of Are, Sweden, in a vote of 47-34 by I.O.C. delegates. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "Italy Is Chosen to Host 2026 Winter Olympics," 24 June 2019 That means that regardless of who commands the most overall votes, a number of candidates could walk away from the primary with delegates. Alexander Tin, CBS News, "Why Democratic presidential candidates are so focused on California," 7 June 2019 With 495 delegates, California is the biggest electoral prize of the presidential contest. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Trump vs. Biden in Iowa: Septuagenarian rivals try to demonstrate vigor in head-to-head stops," 17 Apr. 2019 California again will offer by far the largest cache of convention delegates — 495 in all. George Skelton, latimes.com, "Kamala Harris probably won the California primary in the first debate," 1 July 2019 In April, the OAS approved the participation of Guaidó delegates, while expelling the diplomats appointed by Maduro, who had already expressed their intention to withdraw from the organization. Washington Post, "Uruguay protests role of Venezuela’s opposition at gathering," 28 June 2019 The states nominate potential award winners to their NEBHE boards of delegates. Tess Vrbin, courant.com, "Hartford Promise scholarship program to receive New England Higher Education Excellence Award," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This reconsideration must be taken on as an urgent strategic task by the people occupying executive suites, rather than delegated to bean-counters in cubicles. The Economist, "SecurityCompanies must get ready for a riskier world," 11 July 2019 The other important questions about what action Trump could have taken have to do with Congress’s authority over the census and the laws over how the legislative body has delegated that power. Tessa Berenson, Time, "President Trump Backs Down on Adding Citizenship Question to Census," 11 July 2019 Taurus Solar –You will likely be writing more this year and delegating out other things. Rebecca Gordon, Harper's BAZAAR, "Eclipse Season July 2019 and What it Means for You," 2 July 2019 Tap into its effects right away by delegating someone else to steal it for you. Sarah Lazarus, The New Yorker, "Healing Crystals and How to Shoplift Them," 8 June 2019 Taken together, the actions amount to a broad assertion of power that reverses more than 50 years of precedent that delegated decision-making on energy projects to individual agencies. Matthew Daly, The Seattle Times, "Trump wields presidential power on pipeline, energy projects," 14 Apr. 2019 Gene Kranz, the flight director, delegated the decision to Steve Bales, the guidance officer; Bales turned to mission specialists Jack Garman and Russell Larson, who consulted the handwritten table of error codes Garman had compiled. Stephen Witt, WIRED, "Apollo 11: Mission Out of Control," 24 June 2019 Someone oversees the event, delegating jobs, making sure workers understand the dye-to-woodchip-to-water ratio, and ensuring that the designs are different. Sarah Schutte, National Review, "Solemn Parties, Festive Liturgies — What’s Not to Like about Being Catholic?," 22 June 2019 As for being delegated authority by the governor, Bevin has by executive order appointed Hampton as a member of the Kentucky Emergency Response Commission. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "The role of Kentucky's lieutenant governor used to come with authority. Not anymore," 17 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of delegate

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for delegate

Noun and Verb

Middle English delegat, from Medieval Latin delegatus, from Latin, past participle of delegare to delegate, from de- + legare to send — more at legate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about delegate

Listen to Our Podcast about delegate

Statistics for delegate

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delegate

The first known use of delegate was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for delegate

delegate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of delegate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who is chosen or elected to vote or act for others

delegate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of delegate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give (control, responsibility, authority, etc.) to someone : to trust someone with (a job, duty, etc.)
: to choose (someone) to do something

delegate

noun
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio) \

Kids Definition of delegate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person sent with power to act for another or others

delegate

verb
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-lə-ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio) \
delegated; delegating

Kids Definition of delegate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to entrust to another The voters delegate power to their elected officials.
2 : to make responsible for getting something done We were delegated to clean up.

delegate

noun
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-gət How to pronounce delegate (audio) \

Legal Definition of delegate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person empowered to act on behalf of another: as
a : a person who is authorized to perform another's duties under a contract
b : a representative to a convention (as of a political party) or conference
c : a representative of a U.S. territory in the House of Representatives
d : a member of the lower house of the legislature of Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia

delegate

verb
del·​e·​gate | \ ˈde-li-ˌgāt How to pronounce delegate (audio) \
delegated; delegating

Legal Definition of delegate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to entrust or transfer (as power, authority, or responsibility) to another: as
a : to transfer (one's contractual duties) to another
b : to empower a body (as an administrative agency) to perform (a governmental function) — see also nondelegation doctrine
2 : to appoint as one's representative

intransitive verb

: to transfer responsibility or authority

History and Etymology for delegate

Noun

Medieval Latin delegatus, from Latin, past participle of delegare to appoint, put in charge

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on delegate

What made you want to look up delegate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having no luck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!