con·​sign kən-ˈsīn How to pronounce consign (audio)
consigned; consigning; consigns

transitive verb

: to give over to another's care
consign her single daughters to the care of their sister …Jane Austen
: to give, transfer, or deliver into the hands or control of another
also : to commit especially to a final destination or fate
a writer consigned to oblivion
consign a body to the grave
: to send or address to an agent to be cared for or sold
consigned the paintings for sale
consignable adjective
consignation noun
consignor noun
Choose the Right Synonym for consign

commit, entrust, confide, consign, relegate mean to assign to a person or place for a definite purpose.

commit may express the general idea of delivering into another's charge or the special sense of transferring to a superior power or to a special place of custody.

committed the felon to prison

entrust implies committing with trust and confidence.

the president is entrusted with broad powers

confide implies entrusting with great assurance or reliance.

confided complete control of my affairs to my attorney

consign suggests removing from one's control with formality or finality.

consigned the damaging notes to the fire

relegate implies a consigning to a particular class or sphere often with a suggestion of getting rid of.

relegated to an obscure position in the company

Example Sentences

She consigned the painting to an auction house. The goods were consigned to him.
Recent Examples on the Web Three-year-old Daniel and 7-year-old Mira have been spirited out of a Jewish ghetto in Poland and consigned for safekeeping to a Polish farm couple. Julia M. Klein,, 23 Mar. 2023 Everyone knows the cataclysmic, asteroid-sized drama that consigned the dinosaurs to oblivion, and 200 million years before that fiery inferno, all life on Earth was nearly ended thanks to unending volcanic eruptions. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 2 May 2023 The very fact that many trumpet the Chinese model of development is often because the debate is consigned to red state development model vs. blue state development model. Roger Huang, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2023 Their victory brought euphoric hopes for a new Sudan; Mr. Bashir was consigned to a prison by the Nile. Declan Walsh, New York Times, 6 Apr. 2023 Bell made only a single reference to Hayek and consigned Burnham to a footnote. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 21 Feb. 2023 If the Biden administration’s latest emissions standards stand, come 2032, the Toyota Prius, that longtime favorite of environmentalists, will be consigned to the ash heap of history for the sin of having the audacity to use an internal-combustion engine (ICE). Luther Ray Abel, National Review, 18 Apr. 2023 Jennifer’s Body is, at its heart, a film about a deeply toxic female friendship — the kind in which one girl with a weird hero worship consigns herself to being the quirky sidekick to the other’s main character. Vulture, 31 Mar. 2023 Amanda Bass, a Sotheby’s spokeswoman, said the auction house verified the shoes’ provenance with the ballboy, who had previously sold the shoes to the person consigning them for the upcoming auction. Julian Mark, Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle French consigner, from Latin consignare, from com- + signum sign, mark, seal — more at sign

First Known Use

1528, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of consign was in 1528

Dictionary Entries Near consign

Cite this Entry

“Consign.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​sign kən-ˈsīn How to pronounce consign (audio)
: to give over to another's care : entrust
: to give, transfer, or deliver to another
: to send or address (as goods) to an agent to be cared for or sold

Legal Definition


transitive verb
con·​sign kən-ˈsīn How to pronounce consign (audio)
: to entrust (one's goods) to the possession of a dealer to be sold for profit or returned if unsold compare bail, entrust
consignment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on consign

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