"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[v. dez-ig-neyt; adj. dez-ig-nit, -neyt] /v. ˈdɛz ɪgˌneɪt; adj. ˈdɛz ɪg nɪt, -ˌneɪt/
verb (used with object), designated, designating.
to mark or point out; indicate; show; specify.
to denote; indicate; signify.
to name; entitle; style.
to nominate or select for a duty, office, purpose, etc.; appoint; assign.
named or selected for an office, position, etc., but not yet installed (often used in combination following the noun it modifies):
Origin of designate
1640-50; < Latin dēsignātus, past participle of dēsignāre. See design, -ate1
Related forms
designative, designatory
[dez-ig-nuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, dez-ig-ney-tuh-ree] /ˈdɛz ɪg nəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˌdɛz ɪgˈneɪ tə ri/ (Show IPA),
designator, noun
dedesignate, verb (used with object), dedesignated, dedesignating.
nondesignate, adjective
nondesignative, adjective
redesignate, verb (used with object), redesignated, redesignating.
undesignated, adjective
undesignative, adjective
well-designated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for designate
  • Another is to designate specific lots of shares to be sold, usually those that cost the most.
  • designate a specific list or notebook for keeping track of these small tasks as you identify them.
  • In their letter, principals may designate a teacher in the school to be the recipient of the contest materials.
  • designate that direction as x-axis, which is perpendicular to the y-axis.
  • designate an out-of-town emergency contact-long-distance calls may be easier to make than local ones.
  • Then, with a few mouse strokes, you designate a part of their body to touch and a move to put on them.
  • His point, of course, is that cultures-musical and non-musical-decide what to designate as a disability.
  • designate two more students to play the role of wind and give them the fans.
  • designate a z-axis that is perpendicular to both x and y axes.
  • Changes in details designate functions for each space.
British Dictionary definitions for designate


verb (transitive) (ˈdɛzɪɡˌneɪt)
to indicate or specify
to give a name to; style; entitle
to select or name for an office or duty; appoint
adjective (ˈdɛzɪɡnɪt; -ˌneɪt)
(immediately postpositive) appointed, but not yet in office: a minister designate
Derived Forms
designative, designatory (ˌdɛzɪɡˈneɪtrɪ) adjective
designator, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin dēsignātus marked out, defined; see design
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 designate

1640s, from Latin designatus, past participle of designare (see design (v.)).


As a verb, from 1791, from designate (adj.) or else a back-formation from designation. Related: Designated; designating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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