as·​sign·​ment | \ə-ˈsīn-mənt \

Definition of assignment 

1 : the act of assigning something the assignment of a task

2a : a position, post, or office to which one is assigned Her assignment was to the embassy in India.

b : a specified task or amount of work assigned or undertaken as if assigned by authority a homework assignment

3 law : the transfer of property especially : the transfer of property to be held in trust or to be used for the benefit of creditors

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Synonyms for assignment


chore, duty, job, task

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Food, a checked bag, and your seat assignment have all become ancillary revenue to help airlines maximize profit. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Some airlines may be using algorithms to split up families during flights," 27 Nov. 2018 His colleagues sat on the ground nearby, eating sandwiches and waiting for their next assignment. Ryan Lillis, The Seattle Times, "‘The height of character’: Volunteers set aside sorrow, exhaustion to search for Camp Fire victims," 20 Nov. 2018 Campa-Najjar said Hunter, a former Marine who resigned from the House Armed Services Committee after House Speaker Paul Ryan asked him to relinquish his committee assignments, would no longer qualify for a security clearance. Fox News, "Indicted California incumbent steps up attacks on Democrat," 16 Oct. 2018 The story follows a girl named Jamie who becomes a bestselling novelist after accidentally turning in her journal as her homework assignment. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "The 20 Best Disney Channel Movies of All Time," 30 July 2018 Camille gets a call from her editor telling her that her last story wasn’t bad but her assignment isn’t done. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Pointed Observations About Sharp Objects Episode 3," 23 July 2018 Including his opening-day roster assignment, this is Woodruff’s fifth stint with the Brewers this season. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Notes: Brandon Woodruff back for fifth stint with Brewers as shuffle of arms continues," 13 July 2018 Maduk wasn’t able to attend the new student orientation, didn’t have Internet access at home to complete his make-up assignments, and fell behind. Deirdre Fernandes,, "An education in hope," 7 July 2018 Brown was the last Ivy League school to require the writing assignment. Debbie Truong, Washington Post, "Brown University becomes latest college to drop SAT, ACT essay for applicants," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assignment.' 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 assignment

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assignment

see assign entry 1

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Statistics for assignment

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assignment

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

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More Definitions for assignment

wage assignment


Financial Definition of wage assignment

What It Is

A wage assignment refers to a forced payment of a financial obligation via automatic withholding from an employee's pay.

How It Works

Courts can subject individuals who become delinquent in their obligations to wage assignments. In most cases, wage assignments are ordered when a person is delinquent on child support, spousal support, taxes or loans. If the obligor shows a history of nonpayment, a wage assignment can be used to automatically subtract money owed from his or her payroll without his or her consent. For example, if an individual becomes delinquent on $100 monthly loan payments, a wage assignment automatically deducts the $100 from the person's weekly or monthly paycheck and sends it to the lender.

Why It Matters

Wage assignments are frequently ordered in connection with delinquent child support payments and merchant credit balances. Though unlawful in certain U.S. states, wage assignments can be a useful, proactive method for recouping long-term unpaid debts.

Source: Investing Answers


as·​sign·​ment | \ə-ˈsīn-mənt \

Kids Definition of assignment

1 : the act of giving out or assigning the assignment of seats

2 : something (as a job or task) that is given out a homework assignment



Legal Definition of assignment 

1 : the act of assigning

2a : a position, post, or office to which one is assigned

b : a task assigned

3 : 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

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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