designed versus designated

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Hese, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Hese Senior Member


    I've been wondering for long what the difference between "to be designed for" and "to be designated for" is.

    The definitions in my monolingual amount to the same thing: to be made and planned for a specific purpose.

    The only difference I could make out was the annotation "formal" with "designated".

    Am I right?
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    They are very different in meaning practically.

    Usually, "designated" means something on the order of "chosen," "assigned," "selected," or "destined." It's a more specific application.

    "Designed" refers to planning, to organizing, to devising. For example, you can design a schedule for checking the freshness of the milk in your refrigerator, which includes designating a person that will be responsible for checking on Tuesdays and another that will check on Saturdays.
  3. vox myopuli Senior Member

    English - American
    Just to add to the answer above, Hese, do you know the term "designated driver"?

    When friends go out drinking (alcohol), it is best to choose a designated driver. This person is not allowed to drink much, if at all, because he or she will have to drive everyone else home. He is assigned the task of driving.

    That should help you remember.

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