Relegate means "to assign to a lower position." If the quarterback of the football team stops making decent throws, he might be relegated to the position of benchwarmer.

Relegate rhymes with delegate — both words derive from the Latin legare, "to send." Relegate means to send someone down in rank. Delegate means to send someone in your place to complete a task. In the workplace, managers who can't figure out how to delegate may get relegated to a lesser rank.

Definitions of relegate

v assign to a lower position; reduce in rank

break, bump, demote, kick downstairs
advance, elevate, kick upstairs, promote, raise, upgrade
give a promotion to or assign to a higher position
remove from the center of activity or attention; place into an inferior position
bring to humbler or weaker state or condition
Type of:
assign, delegate, depute, designate
give an assignment to (a person) to a post, or assign a task to (a person)

v assign to a class or kind

“People argue about how to relegate certain mushrooms”
Type of:
assign, attribute
decide as to where something belongs in a scheme

v refer to another person for decision or judgment

“She likes to relegate difficult questions to her colleagues”
pass on, submit
Type of:
subject, submit
refer for judgment or consideration

v expel, as if by official decree

banish, bar
stand in the way of
Type of:
expel, kick out, throw out
force to leave or move out

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