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.


  1. named or selected for an office, position, etc., but not yet installed (often used in combination following the noun it modifies): ambassador-designate.


  1. logic (of a truth value) corresponding to truth in a two-valued logic, or having one of the analogous values in a many-valued logic

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

adjective (ˈdɛzɪɡnɪt, -ˌneɪt)

  1. (immediately postpositive) appointed, but not yet in officea minister designate

past participle adjective from designate. Designated hitter introduced in American League baseball in 1973, soon giving wide figurative extension to designated, e.g. designated driver, by 1985.


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.

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