verb (used with object)

  1. to give or allocate; allot: to assign rooms at a hotel.
  2. to give out or announce as a task: to assign homework.
  3. to appoint, as to a post or duty: to assign one to guard duty.
  4. to designate; name; specify: to assign a day for a meeting.
  5. to ascribe; attribute; bring forward: to assign a cause.
  6. Law. to transfer: to assign a contract.
  7. Military. to place permanently on duty with a unit or under a commander.

verb (used without object)

  1. Law. to transfer property, especially in trust or for the benefit of creditors.


  1. Usually assigns. Law. a person to whom the property or interest of another is or may be transferred; assignee: my heirs and assigns.

verb (mainly tr)

  1. to select for and appoint to a post, etcto assign an expert to the job
  2. to give out or allot (a task, problem, etc)to assign advertising to an expert
  3. to set apart (a place, person, time, etc) for a particular function or eventto assign a day for the meeting
  4. to attribute to a specified cause, origin, or source; ascribeto assign a stone cross to the Vikings
  5. to transfer (one’s right, interest, or title to property) to someone else
  6. (also intr) law (formerly) to transfer (property) to trustees so that it may be used for the benefit of creditors
  7. military to allocate (men or materials) on a permanent basisCompare attach (def. 6)
  8. computing to place (a value corresponding to a variable) in a memory location


  1. law a person to whom property is assigned; assignee

c.1300, from Old French assiginer (13c.) “assign, set (a date, etc.); appoint legally; allot,” from Latin assignare “to mark out, to allot by sign, assign, award,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + signare “make a sign,” from signum “mark” (see sign). Main original use was in English law, in transferences of personal property. General meaning “to fix, settle, determine, appoint” is from c.1300. Related: Assigned; assigning.

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