con·​sign·​ment | \ kən-ˈsīn-mənt How to pronounce consignment (audio) \

Definition of consignment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or process of consigning
2 : something consigned especially in a single shipment
on consignment
: shipped to a dealer who pays only for what is sold and who may return what is unsold goods shipped on consignment



Definition of consignment (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or received as goods on consignment a consignment sale

Examples of consignment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Measuring its e-commerce market share is hard, too, because the company is both a traditional retailer and online consignment shop. Matt Day, Fortune, "Amazon U.S. Online Market Share Estimate Cut to 37.7% From 47%," 13 June 2019 One commenter said Home Depot doesn't actually paint the plants themselves, but rather sells the plants on consignment from vendors. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Can Now Buy Succulents in Every Color of the Rainbow," 25 Mar. 2019 While other luxury brands are coming to accept the booming consignment market, Chanel has long opposed resellers. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Keeping Chanel on Top in the Post-Lagerfeld Era," 22 Feb. 2019 In addition to consignment, buyers will be able to shop partner brands like Ralph Lauren and Ligne Roset. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Introducing Sotheby’s Home, The RealReal of Interiors," 10 Oct. 2018 Nowadays, shoppers can find used wedding dresses at online-only bridal consignment stores like and or larger marketplaces like TheRealReal, Tradesy, Poshmark, and eBay. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "More Brides Are Buying Used Wedding Dresses Than Ever Before," 1 May 2019 For consignment items, the seller retains 80 percent of the sale amount, Kaspar said. Jennifer Johnson,, "Niles auction to raise money for Maine South school fundraiser," 13 Apr. 2018 Iran usually transports weapons by air to its regional allies such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, but those consignments are easier for its foes to monitor and target than road shipments passing through villages and towns along with regular goods. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Israel Broadens Fight Against Iran," 15 July 2018 Full-service consignment as well as personalized one-on-one styling will be available at the Market Street boutique. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Business Briefs," 24 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Just Between Friends consignment sale, Thursday to Sunday. Jennifer Jhon, South Florida Parenting, "What to do with the kids this weekend: Shows, fests and fundraisers," 11 Oct. 2017 Consignment sale: This community shopping event will feature clothing, toys, nursery items, baby equipment, furniture and more. Atlanta Life, ajc, "Faith calendar," 4 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of consignment


circa 1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1913, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about consignment

Statistics for consignment

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consignment

The first known use of consignment was circa 1668

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for consignment



Financial Definition of consignment

What It Is

Consignment is an agreement between an owner and a third-party consignee whereby the consignee agrees to sell the owners goods in exchange for a fee.

How It Works

Consignment is an arrangement in which an item is placed in the care of another until purchased by a buyer. Until the item is sold, the consignor still claims ownership and is still responsible for anything that may happen to the item while it is in the care of the consignee.

For example, suppose Frank consigns his antique typewriter to Bob, who offers to sell it for him at his store. Frank (the consignor) and Bob (the consignee) have not exchanged any money; no purchase was transacted, and Frank still owns the typewriter. One day a customer purchases the typewriter at Bob’s store. Bob gives the proceeds to Frank, less an agreed-upon consignment fee for Bob's service as the seller.

Why It Matters

Consignment is a trust-based commercial arrangement from which both the consignor and the consignee can benefit.  Consignment shops are the most common example of this type of exchange. With the advent of the internet and e-commerce sites such as, consignment has become much more common.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of consignment

: a quantity of goods that are sent to a person or place to be sold
: the act or process of sending goods to a person or place to be sold

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on consignment

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consignment

Spanish Central: Translation of consignment

Nglish: Translation of consignment for Spanish Speakers

Comments on consignment

What made you want to look up consignment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!