designate-v; 2 Senses

Sense Number 1: give a formal name or title to

Commentary: Syntax Includes: NP1[agent] DESIGNATE NP2[theme] (NP[attribute]) NP1[agent] DESIGNATE NP2[theme] (ADVP)
NOTE: compare carefully to sense 2. This sense only refers to assigning a formal, quotable name or title. You should be able to put the name in front of the NP2 (usually separate the 2 with BE) like: 'Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is the highway...' You can't do this with the examples in sense 2. Name or title may be a single word or a phrase that constitutes a title, but must be an actual name, not just a discriptor.

This highway has been designated Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The process is designated by statisticians as 'the tendency of the rural population towards the large towns.'
In February 2003, the magazine designated her, 'The most Beautiful Romanian Woman.'

VerbNet: appoint-29.1
FrameNet: Linguistic_meaning
PropBank: designate.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1, 3

Sense Number 2: assign responsibilities or an informal description to

Commentary: Syntax Includes: NP1[agent] DESIGNATE NP2 TO VP NP1[agent] DESIGNATE NP2 TO NP NP1[agent] DESIGNATE NP2 PP{as NP} NP1[agent] DESIGNATE NP2 PP{for NP}
NOTE: In some cases, the thing being designated may look like it's being named (usually in examples with 'as' following the verb, sometimes in single or double quotes) but the order of the NP and the descriptor cannot be reversed as described in sense 1.

Why do they always designate the hard tasks to us?
Maybe the fates designated him to the field of medicine.
They designated troubleshooters to work directly with district.
An employee(s) must be designated to be responsible for preparation of the quarterly sales tax report.
She was designated as the next program director.
The constitution has not designated the way in which the power shall be exercised.
They have designated certain areas on campus as permissible parking lots for students.
We designated that party as the last party of the year.
The classroom designated Tom as "thoughtful."

VerbNet: appoint-29.1
FrameNet: Appointing
PropBank: designate.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2, 4, 5