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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: des¦ig|nate

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.