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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 delegates
  • Some delegates prefer to attend multidisciplinary conferences, others prefer a conference with a narrow focus.
  • Over the next few days, delegates will be examining exactly how-and indeed, whether-these principles are being followed.
  • delegates from around the world will be joining to determine the future of the whales.
  • My theory is that these delegates for the summer took that idea of the celebration back to their respective communities.
  • delegates also emphasized that innovation has to reach governmental and policy positions.
  • Daily delegate totals reflect all delegates allotted to the state, even though some may not pledge their vote until a later date.
  • But when the delegates go home again, getting even a few of them together in a room becomes difficult.
  • Party members there have been allowed to select delegates to party congresses through secret ballots.
  • Instead, he won overwhelmingly, and the big margins brought him crucial delegates.
  • Listening to fellow delegates discussing all this, a slightly heretical thought struck me.
British Dictionary definitions for delegates


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 delegates



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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