an ecclesiastic delegated by the pope as his representative.
Roman History.
  1. an assistant to a general or to a consul or magistrate, in the government of any army or a province; a commander of a legion.
  2. a provincial governor of senatorial rank appointed by the emperor.
an envoy or emissary.

Nearby words

  1. legalize,
  2. legally,
  3. leganés,
  4. legaspi,
  5. legaspi, miguel lópez de,
  6. legatee,
  7. legatine,
  8. legation,
  9. legationary,
  10. legato

Origin of legate

1125–75; Middle English legat < Latin lēgātus deputy (noun use of masculine past participle of lēgāre to depute), equivalent to lēgā(re) + -tus past participle suffix

Related formsleg·ate·ship, nounun·der·leg·ate, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for legate

British Dictionary definitions for legate



a messenger, envoy, or delegate
RC Church an emissary to a foreign state representing the Pope
Derived Formslegateship, nounlegatine (ˈlɛɡəˌtaɪn), adjective

Word Origin for legate

Old English, via Old French from Latin lēgātus deputy, from lēgāre to delegate; related to lēx law

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 legate



mid-12c., "authorized representative of the Pope," from Old French legat and directly from Latin legatus "ambassador, envoy," originally "provided with a commission," past participle of legare "send as a deputy, send with a commission, bequeath," from lex (genitive legis) "contract, law" (see legal). General sense of "ambassador, delegate, messenger" is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper