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

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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 & Antonyms for assign

Synonyms: Verb

appoint, attach, commission, constitute, designate, detail, name, nominate, place

Antonyms: Verb

discharge, dismiss, expel, fire

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Different chemicals were assigned different pitches. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "Symphony of the salmon: How scientists are learning by putting fish migration to music," 9 July 2018 Godparents George was assigned a total of seven godparents: Zara Tindall, Oliver Baker, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Earl Grosvenor, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the Hon. Ruby Buddemeyer, Marie Claire, "Here's How Prince Louis' Christening Compares to George and Charlotte's," 9 July 2018 One simple exercise involves assigning colors to your emotions. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "How to Tap Into Your Own Psychic Abilities," 2 July 2018 My editor was intrigued, and assigned me a column due the following Sunday. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, "I Was a Successful 19-Year-Old Matchmaker and Totally Clueless About My Own Love Life," 26 June 2018 In this randomized controlled clinical trial, the patients were assigned to either a high onion diet (consisting of raw red onion) or a low onion diet., "6 Health Benefits of Onions," 22 June 2018 Additional bus aides are assigned to buses depending on how many students are on it. Jess Nocera, Laurel Leader, "School bus attendant arrested for assault," 13 June 2018 To help out, Mutual Ground, a domestic violence shelter in Aurora, has assigned one employee to provide support to victims from southern Kane County and parts of Kendall County, McMahon said. Megan Jones, Aurora Beacon-News, "Agencies team together to provide victim services after Kane County loses grant money," 7 June 2018 In April, Beau Tidwell, then-spokesman for the department who now oversees communications for the City of New Orleans, said Turner was assigned to the 3rd District, which polices Lakeview and Gentilly. Emily Lane,, "NOPD's internal probe into former homicide commander finds 8 violations," 5 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for assign

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assign

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

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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)

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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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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