• synonyms


[verb dez-ig-neyt; adjective dez-ig-nit, -neyt]
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verb (used with object), des·ig·nat·ed, des·ig·nat·ing.
  1. to mark or point out; indicate; show; specify.
  2. to denote; indicate; signify.
  3. to name; entitle; style.
  4. to nominate or select for a duty, office, purpose, etc.; appoint; assign.
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  1. named or selected for an office, position, etc., but not yet installed (often used in combination following the noun it modifies): ambassador-designate.
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Origin of designate

1640–50; < Latin dēsignātus, past participle of dēsignāre. See design, -ate1
Related formsdes·ig·na·tive, des·ig·na·to·ry [dez-ig-nuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, dez-ig-ney-tuh-ree] /ˈdɛz ɪg nəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˌdɛz ɪgˈneɪ tə ri/, adjectivedes·ig·na·tor, nounde·des·ig·nate, verb (used with object), de·des·ig·nat·ed, de·des·ig·nat·ing.non·des·ig·nate, adjectivenon·des·ig·na·tive, adjectivere·des·ig·nate, verb (used with object), re·des·ig·nat·ed, re·des·ig·nat·ing.un·des·ig·nat·ed, adjectiveun·des·ig·na·tive, adjectivewell-des·ig·nat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for designative

denotative, denotive, indicative, referring, denoting, expressed, implying, signifying

British Dictionary definitions for designative


verb (ˈdɛzɪɡˌneɪt) (tr)
  1. to indicate or specify
  2. to give a name to; style; entitle
  3. to select or name for an office or duty; appoint
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adjective (ˈdɛzɪɡnɪt, -ˌneɪt)
  1. (immediately postpositive) appointed, but not yet in officea minister designate
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Derived Formsdesignative or designatory (ˌdɛzɪɡˈneɪtrɪ), adjectivedesignator, noun

Word Origin for designate

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

Word Origin and History for designative



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

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper