1540s, "to call by name," back-formation from nomination or else from Latin nominatus, past participle of nominare "to name, call by name, give a name to," also "name for office,"" from nomen "name" (see name (n.)). Later "to appoint to some office or duty" (1560s); "to formally enter (someone) as a candidate for election" (c. 1600). It also occasionally was used from c. 1600 with a sense "give a name to." Related: Nominated; nominating.
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