- I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French labelle Date: 14th century 1. archaic band, fillet; specifically one attached to a document to hold an appended seal 2. a heraldic charge that consists of a narrow horizontal band with usually three pendants 3. a. a slip (as of paper or cloth) inscribed and affixed to something for identification or description b. written or printed matter accompanying an article to furnish identification or other information c. a descriptive or identifying word or phrase: as (1) epithet (2) a word or phrase used with a dictionary definition to provide additional information d. a usually radioactive isotope used in labeling 4. an adhesive stamp (as for postage or revenue) 5. a. (1) a brand of commercial recordings issued under a usually trademarked name (2) a recording so issued (3) a company issuing such recordings b. the brand name of a retail store selling clothing, a clothing manufacturer, or a fashion designer II. transitive verb (labeled or labelled; labeling or labelling) Date: 1601 1. a. to affix a label to b. to describe or designate with or as if with a label 2. a. to distinguish (an element or atom) by using an isotope distinctive in some manner (as in mass or radioactivity) b. to distinguish (as a compound or cell) by introducing a traceable constituent (as a dye or labeled atom) • labelable adjective • labeler noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.