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

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 There are dozens of express consignment stores in the tristate area that function like a private UPS, only for parcels from Ecuador. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Rewind: What Guarding Uncle Sam's Borders Was Like in 1925," 11 Feb. 2019 Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services An August 2017 email received by regional sales directors said consignment inventory outstanding just in the Southwest region was worth some $34 million. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Highflying Medical Firm, a Help to Wounded Veterans, Falls to Earth," 23 July 2018 Walk out with a modest wad of cash for on-the-spot sold items or bet on the long game with consignment for a heftier margin of the sale. Valerie Demicheva, San Francisco Chronicle, "Upcycle, recycle or donate: Where to unload unwanted clothes.," 20 Apr. 2018 Yet consignment deals are typically signed months ahead of their sales. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "Art Market, Hoping the Good Times Keep Rolling, Prepares for N.Y. Sales," 6 Nov. 2018 Ethiopia -- ranked Africa’s fastest-growing economy by the International Monetary Fund -- already ships large consignments such as fertilizer through Port Sudan., "Ethiopia to Help Sudan Develop Port as It Builds Export Routes," 3 May 2018 The store supports independent publishing by working on a consignment basis with writers and artists to get their material out to the public. Audrey Gorden, RedEye Chicago, "Read up on 15 of Chicago's best independent bookstores," 1 May 2017

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.

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First Known Use of consignment


circa 1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1913, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for consignment

The first known use of consignment was circa 1668

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consignment

Spanish Central: Translation of consignment

Nglish: Translation of consignment for Spanish Speakers

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