To deputize is to appoint someone as a substitute, like a police deputy authorizing a civilian to make an arrest.

The original meaning refers to when a deputy would give some of their power to non-police officers. When deputized, you took on some of the power of a deputy to help the real deputy. Similarly, deputizing can refer to making anyone a substitute. A teacher can deputize a student by putting them in charge of the class. A boss can deputize an employee by asking them to organize a meeting. Deputizing empowers someone to do a job.

Definitions of deputize
  1. verb
    appoint as a substitute
    synonyms: depute, deputise
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    type of:
    appoint, charge
    assign a duty, responsibility or obligation to
  2. verb
    act as a substitute
    synonyms: deputise, step in, substitute
    see moresee less
    help out by taking someone's place and temporarily assuming his responsibilities
    type of:
    replace, supercede, supersede, supervene upon, supplant
    take the place or move into the position of
Word Family

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