Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An official emissary, especially an official representative of the pope.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deputy representing the Pope, specifically a papal ambassador sent on special ecclesiastical missions.
  • n. An ambassador or messenger.
  • n. The deputy of a provincial governor or general in ancient Rome.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ambassador or envoy.
  • n. An ecclesiastic representing the pope and invested with the authority of the Holy See.
  • n.
  • n. An official assistant given to a general or to the governor of a province.
  • n. Under the emperors, a governor sent to a province.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person commissioned to represent a state, or the highest authority in the state, in a foreign state or court; a deputy; an ambassador.
  • n. Specifically In Roman history, a foreign envoy chosen by the senate, or a lieutenant of a general or of a consul or other magistrate in the government of an army or a province.
  • n. One who is delegated by the Pope as his representative in the performance of certain ecclesiastical or political functions, or both.
  • n. A legacy.
  • To bequeath; give by will; give and bequeath.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a member of a legation

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French legat, from Medieval Latin lēgātus, from Latin, past participle of lēgāre, to depute; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Late Old English, from Old French legat, from Latin legatus (nominal use of perfect passive participle of lego ("bequeath, send as envoy")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • So the family -- Keith and other family members met with the FBI today, with the idea that they're going to initiate the process that takes place where, here from the U.S. you try to get a hold of what's called the legate, which is the legal liaison in Bangkok.

    CNN Transcript Jun 5, 2009

  • A legate was a high-ranking officer, a member of the Senate, who was authorized to command in his superiors absence.

    The Spartacus War

  • I recalled the legate saying he might have a use for the monster.

    The Black Company

  • The legate was his superior-officer, and he sent her every day some present or flowers.

    Homo Sum — Volume 02

  • The legate was her only comfort; the legate and the thing which she called religion.

    The Reign of Mary Tudor

  • The pope would not take the trouble to read it, or even to hear it read; [351] but the substance, as related to him by Morone, convinced him that the emperor's accusations were exaggerated: to recall a legate at the instance of a secular sovereign was an undesirable precedent; [352] and the commission was allowed to stand.

    The Reign of Mary Tudor

  • The Pope never came himself to England, but he often sent a grand embassador, called a legate, who traveled with great pomp and parade, and with many attendants, and assumed in all his doings a most lofty and superior air.

    Richard II Makers of History

  • After the occupation of Rome by General Miollis, when the foreign cardinals had received orders to return to their respective countries, and the Pope had recalled his legate from Paris, the Emperor Napoleon, on stepping into his carriage to visit Bayonne, had ordered Champagny to transmit to Cardinal Caprara the following note: ---

    World's Best Histories — Volume 7: France

  • But by a prodigious effort he recalled himself to the scene before him; and, striding up to the crowd, of which the legate was the central figure, he raised his arm with a gesture of indignation, and protested vehemently that the assassination of Maximilian's father had been iniquitously charged upon himself.

    Memorials and Other Papers — Complete

  • "The papal legate who was supposed to lead the funeral mass has apparently canceled," he said.

    Volcanic ash leaves world leaders struggling to reach Poland

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