as·​sign | \ə-ˈsīn \
assigned; assigning; assigns

Definition of assign 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to transfer (property) to another especially in trust or for the benefit of creditors

2a : to appoint to a post or duty assigned them to light duty assigned me two clerks

b : to appoint as a duty or task assigns 20 pages for homework

3 : to fix or specify in correspondence or relationship : select, designate assign counsel to the defendant assign a value to the variable Though assigned male at birth, she appears most comfortable and in her element wearing a skirt and high-heeled sandals when riding a big-wheel or playing with a tea set.— Will Dean

4a : to ascribe as a motive, reason, or cause especially after deliberation

b : to consider to belong to a specified period of time Archaeologists assign the weapon to the eleventh century.



Definition of assign (Entry 2 of 2)

: assignee sense 3 heirs and assigns

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from assign


assignability \-​ˌsī-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
assignable \-​ˈsī-​nə-​bəl \ adjective
assigner \ə-​ˈsī-​nər \ or assignor \ˌa-​sə-​ˈnȯr, ˌa-​ˌsī-​, ə-​ˌsī-​ \ noun

Synonyms for assign

Synonyms: Verb

charge, commission, entrust (also intrust), task, trust

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for assign


ascribe, attribute, assign, impute, credit mean to lay something to the account of a person or thing. ascribe suggests an inferring or conjecturing of cause, quality, authorship. forged paintings formerly ascribed to masters attribute suggests less tentativeness than ascribe, less definiteness than assign. attributed to Rembrandt but possibly done by an associate assign implies ascribing with certainty or after deliberation. assigned the bones to the Cretaceous period impute suggests ascribing something that brings discredit by way of accusation or blame. tried to impute sinister motives to my actions credit implies ascribing a thing or especially an action to a person or other thing as its agent, source, or explanation. credited his teammates for his success

Examples of assign in a Sentence


The teacher assigned us 50 math problems for homework! She was assigned to the embassy in India. The new teacher was assigned to the science laboratory. The plane landed at its assigned gate.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In Sāmoa, there are the fa’afafine: assigned male at birth individuals with a third gender identity who encompass both feminine and masculine qualities. Carter Schneider, Teen Vogue, ""I'll Be in Transition Forever": Trans-masculine and Non-binary People Talk Identity, Affirmation, and More," 6 Dec. 2018 This is an M1A1 Abrams assigned to Fort Stewart, Georgia. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Military’s Cryptic Letters, Numbers, and Symbols, Explained," 6 Dec. 2018 As a young girl who loved (and still absolutely loves) her dad, the tale of Brangelina provided me with the perfect way to avoid assigning my father any blame. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "My Parents Divorced at the Same Time as Brad and Jen—and Yes, There Was an Angelina," 29 Nov. 2018 Compared with the control group, the fasters averaged 6 percent weight loss, and those assigned to CR averaged about 5 percent, according to the 2017 paper in JAMA Internal Medicine. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 The following season, the show brought on That 70s Show’s Debra Jo Rupp as the social worker assigned to Dasia and the Pearson family. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Casts 'Malcolm in the Middle' Star Jane Kaczmarek in Season 3," 22 Aug. 2018 But when Cody's gets assigned a mission to get close to his crush Natalie Connors in order to gain access to her scientist father, the mission proves difficult because the CIA forgot to train him in one super important skill: how to talk to girls. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "21 Best Teen Movies You Can't Grow Up Without Watching," 26 July 2018 Most of the participants assigned the treatment completed the full course, researchers said. Kate Thayer,, "Virtual reality can help people overcome fear of heights, study shows," 12 July 2018 Gualtieri said Cruz was assigned to report to Pine Ridge Education Center on Nov. 26, just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "Broward's PROMISE program "irrelevant" to Nikolas Cruz's massacre, commission says," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

IBT Media and its affiliates, successors, assigns, employees, agents, directors, officers and shareholders do not undertake or assume any duty to monitor our site for inappropriate or unlawful content. Newsweek, "Terms of Service," 14 Mar. 2018 Schools that are oversubscribed assign seats by lottery. Kate Taylor, New York Times, "City Announces Plan to Diversify Lower Manhattan Schools," 26 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assign.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of assign


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for assign


Middle English, from Anglo-French assigner, from Latin assignare, from ad- + signare to mark, from signum mark, sign


see assign entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about assign

Statistics for assign

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assign

The first known use of assign was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for assign



English Language Learners Definition of assign

: to give someone a particular job or duty : to require someone to do a particular task

: to send (someone) to a particular group or place as part of a job

: to give out something : to provide someone with something


as·​sign | \ə-ˈsīn \
assigned; assigning

Kids Definition of assign

1 : to give out as a job or responsibility Our teacher assigned homework in math.

2 : to give out to : provide Each student is assigned a locker.

3 : to give a particular quality, value, or identity to Assign a number to each picture.

as·​sign | \ə-ˈsīn \

Legal Definition of assign 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to transfer (property or rights) to another the general practice by inventors of assigning patent rights— J. K. Owens

2 : to appoint to a post or duty assigned to represent the defendant

3 : to fix or specify in relationship or correspondence a party may assign as error…a failure to give an instruction, if that party properly requested itFederal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 51

Other Words from assign

assignability \ə-​ˌsī-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
assignable \ə-​ˈsī-​nə-​bəl \ adjective
assignor \ə-​ˈsī-​nər \ noun



Legal Definition of assign (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on assign

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with assign

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for assign

Spanish Central: Translation of assign

Nglish: Translation of assign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assign for Arabic Speakers

Comments on assign

What made you want to look up assign? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!