1. An item used to identify something or someone, as a small piece of paper or cloth attached to an article to designate its origin, owner, contents, use, or destination.
2. A descriptive term; an epithet.
3. A distinctive name or trademark identifying a product or manufacturer, especially a recording company.
4. Architecture A molding over a door or window; a dripstone.
5. Heraldry A figure in a field consisting of a narrow horizontal bar with several pendants.
6. Chemistry See tracer.
tr.v. la·beled, la·bel·ing, la·bels or la·belled or la·bel·ling
1. To attach a label to: labeled the jars before storing them.
2. To identify or designate with a descriptive term; describe or classify: "He missed two crucial penalty kicks ... and was labeled a loser by the previously loyal British press" (Phil Ball).
3. Chemistry To add a tracer to (a compound).
[Middle English, ornamental strip of cloth, from Old French, probably of Germanic origin.]
label·er, label·ler n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus