Relegate means 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, while another kid is given the chance to play.

Relegate rhymes with delegate––both words derive from the Latin legare "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

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.