labels; labeled; labelled; labeling; labelling

The saying “labels are for jars not people” means it’s OK to put a description on a jar so you know what’s inside (a label), but it’s not okay to judge people by attaching a label, or description to them, such as "nerd," "jock," or "burnout."

Label is a busy word. It refers to the paper or identifying marks on a jar that tells you something about what’s inside the jar. Put such an identifier on the jar, and you label it. Related to that is a judgment about someone or something, a label. When you call yourself a superstar, you label yourself. Finally, you can use label as a short form of recording label, a company that produces musical recordings.

Definitions of label
  1. noun
    a brief description given for purposes of identification
    “the label Modern is applied to many different kinds of architecture”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    the act of describing something
  2. noun
    an identifying or descriptive marker that is attached to an object
    see moresee less
    show 9 types...
    hide 9 types...
    gummed label, paster, sticker
    an adhesive label
    tag, ticket
    a label written or printed on paper, cardboard, or plastic that is attached to something to indicate its owner, nature, price, etc.
    a label associated with something for the purpose of identification
    title bar
    (computer science) a horizontal label at the top of a window, bearing the name of the currently active document
    bookplate, ex libris
    a label identifying the owner of a book in which it is pasted
    dog tag
    metal plate on a dog collar bearing its registration number
    dog tag
    military identification tag worn on a chain around the neck
    name tag
    a tag showing the name of the person who wears it
    price tag
    a tag showing the price of the article it is attached to
    type of:
    insignia, mark, marker, marking
    a distinguishing symbol
  3. noun
    trade name of a company that produces musical recordings
    “the artists and repertoire department of a recording label is responsible for finding new talent”
    synonyms: recording label
    see moresee less
    type of:
    brand, brand name, marque, trade name
    a name given to a product or service
  4. verb
    assign a label to; designate with a label
    “These students were labelled `learning disabled'”
    see moresee less
    show 17 types...
    hide 17 types...
    ascribe a quality to or give a name of a common noun that reflects a quality
    address, direct
    put an address on (an envelope)
    call, name
    assign a specified (usually proper) proper name to
    brand, denounce, mark, stigmatise, stigmatize
    accuse or condemn or openly or formally or brand as disgraceful
    miscall, misname
    assign in incorrect name to
    misaddress, misdirect
    put a wrong address on
    address a legal document to
    put a new address on (an envelope), as for forwarding
    baptise, baptize, christen
    administer baptism to
    use a name to designate
    style, title
    designate by an identifying term
    dub, nickname
    give a nickname to
    assign a new name to
    entitle, title
    give a title to
    name formally or designate with a term
    provide with a name or nickname
    brand, post
    mark or expose as infamous
    type of:
    denominate, designate
    assign a name or title to
  5. verb
    attach a tag or label to
    label these bottles”
    synonyms: mark, tag
    make or leave a mark on
    see moresee less
    show 7 types...
    hide 7 types...
    brand, brandmark, trademark
    mark with a brand or trademark
    mark (a psalm text) to indicate the points at which the music changes
    mark with diacritics
    mark (Hebrew words) with diacritics
    mark (the scale of a measuring instrument) so that it can be read in the desired units
    attach a code to
    put a badge on
    type of:
    cause to be attached
  6. verb
    pronounce judgment on
    “They labeled him unfit to work here”
    synonyms: judge, pronounce
    see moresee less
    show 14 types...
    hide 14 types...
    acquit, assoil, clear, discharge, exculpate, exonerate
    pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
    find or declare guilty
    advertise in strongly positive terms
    find, rule
    decide on and make a declaration about
    pronounce fit or able
    declare unfit
    intonate, intone
    speak carefully, as with rising and falling pitch or in a particular tone
    clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting proof
    exonerate by means of a perfunctory investigation or through biased presentation of data
    clear of a charge
    convict anew
    make legally capable or qualify in law
    disqualify oneself (as a judge) in a particular case
    remove from the bar; expel from the practice of law by official action
    type of:
    adjudge, declare, hold
    declare to be
  7. noun
    a radioactive isotope that is used in a compound in order to trace the mechanism of a chemical reaction
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a radioactive isotope of an element; produced either naturally or artificially
  8. verb
    distinguish (as a compound or molecule) by introducing a labeled atom
  9. verb
    distinguish (an element or atom) by using a radioactive isotope or an isotope of unusual mass for tracing through chemical reactions
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘label'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up label for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer