Relegated to the garbage heap in… Jakarta?

What does relegate mean? Read below for the definition.

Quick vocab quiz for the word relegate

First, before you read about the word relegate, try this quick vocab quiz:

relegate most nearly means

(A) cleanse
(B) admit
(C) float
(D) banish
(E) help

Write your answer down, or just store it in that razor-sharp mind of yours. (If you can’t wait, the answer is below.)

Now let’s learn about the word relegate.

Part of Speech of relegate

relegate is a VERB.

Pronunciation of relegate

Here’s how to pronounce relegate:

IPA: /ˈrɛl.ə.geɪt/

Glossary-style: [REHL-uh-gayt]

Definition of relegate

relegate means: send or assign to an inferior place or situation (Ex: relegated to the back of the classroom). banish, exile.

Explain more about relegate, please

If you relegate somebody to some place, then you send that person to a worse place. For example, if you’re late for a dinner reservation at a nice restaurant, you may be relegated to a cramped table near the kitchen or bathroom.

Example of relegate

Here’s the word relegate used in a sentence:

It would be easy to look at such emerging retailers as Forever 21 and H&M (which sell current fashions at a low cost) and relegate their customer base to the perennially-impoverished student set, but a more charitable interpretation is that these companies are democratizing high fashion.

Discussion: Go on your favorite search engine, and perform a search for relegated to the dustbin/trashcan/ash can/recycling wheelie bin of history, and you’ll see that this phrase has approached cliché status in the English language. Honestly, this phrase is the first I think of as an example when I think of the word “relegate”, so I decided to look up its origins. Now remember, “relegate” basically means something along the lines of “send to a bad or undesirable place”. And for those raised on American English, a “dustbin” is simply what Americans would call a trashcan. Wikipedia, as usual, (currently) has interesting information on the matter, and it appears that the expression originated with Leon Trotsky, the Russian figure instrumental in the 1917 Russian revolution. Trotsky is said to have stated to the exiting Mensheviks (translated from Russian to English, of course), “Go out where you belong–into the ash heap of history.” From this expression has come the stock phrase “relegated to the dustbin (or whatever you may use to collect your refuse) of history” so frequently seen in writing and journalism.

If you’ve read this far, you’re a great student and will learn vocabulary quickly. You may now check your answer.

Answer to the quick vocab quiz

[spoiler]The best answer is (D) banish. Any questions? Please feel free to post them in the comments. We love comments. :)[/spoiler]

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