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[n. del-i-git, -geyt; v. del-i-geyt] /n. ˈdɛl ɪ gɪt, -ˌgeɪt; v. ˈdɛl ɪˌgeɪt/
a person designated to act for or represent another or others; deputy; representative, as in a political convention.
(formerly) the representative of a Territory in the U.S. House of Representatives.
a member of the lower house of the state legislature of Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia.
verb (used with object), delegated, delegating.
to send or appoint (a person) as deputy or representative.
to commit (powers, functions, etc.) to another as agent or deputy.
Origin of delegate
1350-1400; Middle English (noun) < Medieval Latin dēlēgātus, noun use of Latin: past participle of dēlēgāre to assign, equivalent to dē- de- + lēgātus deputed; see legate
Related forms
[del-i-guh-tee] /ˌdɛl ɪ gəˈti/ (Show IPA),
[del-i-gey-ter] /ˈdɛl ɪˌgeɪ tər/ (Show IPA),
nondelegate, noun
predelegate, noun, verb, predelegated, predelegating.
redelegate, verb (used with object), redelegated, redelegating.
subdelegate, noun
subdelegate, verb (used with object), subdelegated, subdelegating.
undelegated, adjective
5. entrust, assign, transfer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for delegate
  • As president, your job was not to delegate moral responsibility for these acts, but to take moral responsibility for them.
  • To get the benefits of diversified public ownership of firms, shareholders must delegate responsibility to managers, or agents.
  • As a result, voters who delegate their ultimate power and authority to their parliamentary representatives are excluded.
  • Congress delegated its ability to choose individual projects to technocrats.
  • Use sweat equity for tasks in your comfort zone, and delegate the rest.
  • Do not fall prey to large firms who send in their top talker to sell you and then delegate the real work to junior people.
  • Your manager could assign someone to be responsible to answer the phones and delegate others to deal with the walk-ins.
  • One caution: You can't delegate the creation of purpose to middle management.
  • Let him delegate to others the costly courtesies and decorations of social life.
  • He could not delegate and involved himself in such minor matters as a private's request for a transfer to be nearer his brother.
British Dictionary definitions for delegate


noun (ˈdɛlɪˌɡeɪt; -ɡɪt)
a person chosen or elected to act for or represent another or others, esp at a conference or meeting
(US, government) a representative of a territory in the US House of Representatives
verb (ˈdɛlɪˌɡeɪt)
to give or commit (duties, powers, etc) to another as agent or representative; depute
(transitive) to send, authorize, or elect (a person) as agent or representative
(transitive) (mainly US) to assign (a person owing a debt to oneself) to one's creditor in substitution for oneself
Derived Forms
delegable (ˈdɛlɪɡəbəl) adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin dēlēgāre to send on a mission, from lēgāre to send, depute; see legate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for delegate

late 15c., from Old French delegat or directly from Latin delegatus, past participle of delegare "to send as a representative," from de- "from, away" (see de-) + legare "send with a commission" (see legate).


1520s (early 15c. as a past participle adjective), from delegate (n.). Related: Delegated; delegating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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