delegate


delegate
delegate n Delegate, deputy, representative designate a person who stands in place of another or others. It is not always possible to distinguish these words, for they are all used in different places or at different times to designate persons whose offices and functions are much the same. Nevertheless there are broad or general differences in meaning which may be observed, although they will not always afford a clue as to why this person or that is called a delegate, a deputy, or a representative.
Delegate applies to a person who is sent or is thought of as being sent with a commission to transact business for another or for others; it often specifically designates a person who is sent by an organized or unorganized body (as a branch of a larger organization or a group of employees) to a meeting where questions pertaining to the welfare of the entire organization or industry will be discussed and voted upon. Delegate usually implies powers that are not plenary but are somewhat modified (as by the delegate's own power to influence or convince others and by the need of his bowing to the will of the majority)
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a lay delegate to a Protestant Episcopal synod

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each branch of the American Legion sends two delegates to the national con- vention

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the workers and the employers each sent three delegates to the conference

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Deputy applies to a person who is given authority to act for another or for others as a substitute or as an agent; it is particularly applicable to a person who has been chosen to perform a part or the whole of an official's duties
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the sheriff of each county appoints one or more deputies

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since he could not be present at the conference, he sent a deputy

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Representative applies fundamentally to a person who takes the place of one or more persons in a situation where for some reason the latter cannot be. It may be used of a person engaged to do or to transact business for another or others
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the firm's legal representative

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the king's representative at the peace conference

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However it is more often employed in reference to one who takes the place of a larger group (as the electorate of a particular region) and thereby belongs to a body of men who as a whole are charged with making the laws for the state or nation
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even in a democracy the people as a whole cannot make the laws but assign that work to their representatives in Congress or in Parliament

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the elected became true representatives of the electors— Steele

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The terms are often used to imply the same or very similar functions in different places; thus, approximately the same body is called the House of Representatives in the United States and the Chamber of Deputies in the Republic of France; there is little difference except in voting powers between a representa-tive from a state in the United States Congress and a delegate from a territory.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • delegate — del·e·gate 1 / de li gət/ n [Medieval Latin delegatus, from Latin, past participle of delegare to appoint, put in charge]: a person empowered to act on behalf of another: as a: a person who is authorized to perform another s duties under a… …   Law dictionary

  • Delegate — Del e*gate, a. [L. delegatus, p. p.] Sent to act for or represent another; deputed; as, a delegate judge. Delegate power. Strype. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Delegate — Del e*gate, n. [L. delegatus, p. p. of delegare to send, delegate; de + legare to send with a commission, to depute. See {Legate}.] 1. Any one sent and empowered to act for another; one deputed to represent; a chosen deputy; a representative; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • delegate — [n] representative, often governmental agent, alternate, ambassador, appointee, catchpole*, commissioner, consul, deputy, emissary, envoy, factor, front*, legate, member, member of congress, minister, mouthpiece, nominee, people’s choice, pinch… …   New thesaurus

  • Delegate — Del e*gate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Delegated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Delegating}.] 1. To send as one s representative; to empower as an ambassador; to send with power to transact business; to commission; to depute; to authorize. [1913 Webster] 2. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • delegate to — index authorize Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • delegate — (n.) late 15c., from O.Fr. delegat or directly from L. delegatus, pp. of delegare to send as a representative, from de from, away (see DE (Cf. de )) + legare send with a commission (see LEGATE (Cf. legate)). The verb is from 1520s. Related:… …   Etymology dictionary

  • delegate — ► NOUN 1) a person sent to represent others, in particular at a conference. 2) a member of a committee. ► VERB 1) entrust (a task or responsibility) to another person. 2) authorize (someone) to act as a representative. DERIVATIVES delegator …   English terms dictionary

  • delegate — [del′ə git; ] for v. [, del′əgāt΄] n. [ME delegat < ML delegatus < pp. of L delegare, to send from one place to another, appoint, assign < de , from + legare, to send: see LEGATE] 1. a person authorized or sent to speak and act for… …   English World dictionary

  • delegate — ▪ I. delegate del‧e‧gate 1 [ˈdelgt] noun [countable] someone who has been elected or chosen to speak, vote, or take decisions for a group: • Around 350 delegates attended the conference. • Delegates to the union s annual meeting are expected to …   Financial and business terms


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