Definition of designate in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /ˈdɛzɪɡneɪt/
[with object]
1Appoint (someone) to a specified office or post: he was designated as prime minister
More example sentences
  • Their draft code urges each organisation to set up and publish details of a system for dealing with complaints; and to appoint or designate a member of staff to act as ombudsman.
  • If the parent is fit to take care of a child, here in family court, you designate that parent as the guardian.
  • Financial experts suggest consulting a professional to create a detailed estate plan, which will put in writing where you want assets to go and designate a family member, relative, or trusted adult to execute it.
appoint, nominate, depute, delegate;
select, choose, pick, decide on, settle on;
elect, name, identify, assign, allot, co-opt, ordain, induct
informal plump for
1.1Officially give a specified status or name to: [with object and complement]: the Wye Valley is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty certain schools are designated ‘science schools’
More example sentences
  • The engineering status will be designated to the school from September.
  • We follow the general rules of zebrafish nomenclature for designating locus and allele names.
  • Perhaps it might increase the awareness of the problem if we were officially to designate a day in the year in testimony to them.
classify, class, pronounce, label, tag;
name, call, entitle, term, christen, dub, style, brand
formal denominate


Pronunciation: /ˈdɛzɪɡnət/
Appointed to an office or post but not yet installed: the Director designate
More example sentences
  • He was appointed director designate in February, but was originally not to take over until December.
  • Much has been made of the suggestion that the supposedly moderate prime minister designate intends to disband the militias.
  • Our cameras now take you to the Central Polling Office to hear from the Prime Minister designate.



Pronunciation: /ˈdɛzɪɡneɪtə/
Example sentences
  • It is routine administrative traffic full of alphanumeric designators that mean little without a cue sheet, a recitation of mileages, case numbers and criminal histories.
  • Military personnel should use their support group designator and address when indicating their current assignment.
  • They need the night-vision systems and these laser designators for targeting, so we see an increase here, too.


Mid 17th century (as an adjective): from Latin designatus 'designated', past participle of designare, based on signum 'a mark'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.