as·​sign·​ment ə-ˈsīn-mənt How to pronounce assignment (audio)
: the act of assigning something
the assignment of a task
: a position, post, or office to which one is assigned
Her assignment was to the embassy in India.
: a specified task or amount of work assigned or undertaken as if assigned by authority
a homework assignment
law : the transfer of property
especially : the transfer of property to be held in trust or to be used for the benefit of creditors
Choose the Right Synonym for assignment

task, duty, job, chore, stint, assignment mean a piece of work to be done.

task implies work imposed by a person in authority or an employer or by circumstance.

charged with a variety of tasks

duty implies an obligation to perform or responsibility for performance.

the duties of a lifeguard

job applies to a piece of work voluntarily performed; it may sometimes suggest difficulty or importance.

the job of turning the company around

chore implies a minor routine activity necessary for maintaining a household or farm.

every child was assigned chores

stint implies a carefully allotted or measured quantity of assigned work or service.

a 2-month stint as a reporter

assignment implies a definite limited task assigned by one in authority.

a reporter's assignment

Examples of assignment in a Sentence

The students were given a homework assignment. The reporter's assignment is to interview the candidate. The reporter is here on an assignment. The reporter is here on assignment. The article discusses the recent assignment of senators to some of the more powerful committees. her assignment to the embassy in India the computer's assignment of a number to each image She asked if she could change her seating assignment. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The Bruins are 7-5 and awaiting their bowl assignment. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Nov. 2023 The chatbot also became popular among students, which compelled teachers to grapple with how to ensure their assignments weren’t being completed by ChatGPT. Roger J. Kreuz, The Conversation, 28 Nov. 2023 Keep your skills marketable Look to land assignments that will increase your value to your current and future employers. Robert Hellmann, Forbes, 27 Nov. 2023 Here, four locals take on the plum assignment of picking their favorite stops in the city many lovingly dub Sacratomato. Leilani Marie Labong, WSJ, 24 Nov. 2023 Jeremy, who is suffering from dementia and was placed under a conservator earlier this year, has been in Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A. for months while awaiting assignment to a state medical facility. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 Rhodes is the right director for this assignment; the jokes crackle, and the production numbers sparkle. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 While Austin Butler spent his Elvis days trying to be cool, winning everyone over through sheer mimicry and lopsided smile, Elordi rejects the assignment. Fran Hoepfner, Vulture, 14 Nov. 2023 Struggling for inspiration, the 21-year-old had hit a wall, until Greta Gerwig called in January with an assignment: Write a song for Barbie. Mesfin Fekadu, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'assignment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see assign entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of assignment was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near assignment

Cite this Entry

“Assignment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition


: the act of assigning
: a position, post, or office to which one is assigned
: a task assigned
: a present transfer of property or rights
absolute assignment
: an assignment in which the transfer is complete and leaves the assignor with no interest in the property or right transferred
assignment for the benefit of creditors
: assignment of property by a debtor to an assignee to be held in trust and used to pay off the debtor's debts
assignment of income
: an assignment by one taxpayer to another of income for the purpose of avoiding taxes
assignment of lease
: an assignment by a tenant of all of his or her remaining rights in a property under a lease compare sublease
effective assignment
: an assignment by which the assignor's interest in the property or right being assigned is terminated and transferred to the assignee
equitable assignment
: an assignment (as of property in which one has a future interest) that is not valid at law but that would be upheld in a court of equity
general assignment
: an assignment for the benefit of creditors of all of a debtor's property to be distributed fairly to the creditors compare preference
wage assignment
: an assignment by an employee by which an amount of his or her wages are transferred to another party (as a creditor) before the wages are paid to the employee compare garnishment

More from Merriam-Webster on assignment

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