con·​sign·​ment | \kən-ˈsīn-mənt \

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

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 Guttfreund says his experience in door-to-door sales was crucial to developing ScoreMore's street team model for promotion and consignment sales. Colin Stutz, Billboard, "Spotlight: ScoreMore's Sascha Stone Guttfreund on How Street Teams Built a 100-Person J. Cole Show to a Festival Crowd," 8 Mar. 2018 Well, take them out of your closet, and head over to your nearest consignment shop! Alessandra Puccio /, NBC News, "Finding your (hidden) value," 13 July 2018 As the noon tariff deadline loomed, Chinese social media were gripped by the progress of Peak Pegasus, a ship with a consignment of American soyabeans steaming to reach Dalian port before the deadline. The Economist, "In its trade war with America, China dials down the hype," 12 July 2018 Congo’s Health Ministry on Wednesday received an air consignment of thousands of doses of an unlicensed VSV-EBOV vaccine developed by Merck & Co. that was dispatched by the WHO. William Clowes,, "Two More Ebola Cases Confirmed in Northwestern Congo City," 18 May 2018 Wilson has teamed up with the luxury consignment site Viyet to sell a handful of pieces that once graced the Hanks house. Mackenzie Schmidt,, "Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks Are Cleaning House — and You Can Buy Their Furniture!," 21 June 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

Share consignment

Statistics for consignment

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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).


a nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!