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 This lifelong allegiance both made Slipher's scientific career and, paradoxically, helped consign it to oblivion. Corey S Powell, Discover Magazine, 12 July 2015 Low-income countries understandably refused since doing so would consign their citizens to poverty. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2022 But that doesn’t erase the fact that her story should consign Trump if not to prison, at least to the ash heap of history’s great wastrels. Keith L. Runyon, The Courier-Journal, 17 Nov. 2022 Esola’s Elmer gazes delightedly at the prospect of a liberated future while holding fast to the fate that will consign him to an early grave as one of the first notable casualties of the Civil War. Charles Mcnulty, Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2022 Instead, his tawdry decline now threatens to consign the Borbóns to the trash heap of history—along with the Romanovs, the Habsburgs, and other defunct dynasties. Joshua Hammer, Town & Country, 21 Aug. 2022 Witold Pilecki was never able to consign the past to the past in the same way. Andrew Stuttaford, WSJ, 5 Aug. 2022 In a world that seeks to consign to the shadows those who don’t conform, Osunde’s vagabonds act as an illuminating force for one another. The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 The quickly evolving situation is sparking yet another controversy over whether the desperation to consign the virus to history is being driven by science or politics. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 8 Feb. 2022 See More

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

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 2 Feb. 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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