English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English assignen, from Old French assigner, asigner, from Latin assignō, from ad- + signō (mark, sign).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /əˈsaɪn/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: as‧sign
  • Rhymes: -aɪn

Verb edit

assign (third-person singular simple present assigns, present participle assigning, simple past and past participle assigned)

  1. (transitive) To designate or set apart (something) for some purpose.
    to assign a day for trial
  2. (transitive) To appoint or select (someone) for some office.
    to assign counsel for a prisoner
  3. (transitive) To allot or give (something) as a task.
    • 1829, Robert Southey, Sir Thomas More: Or, Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, volume I, London: John Murray, page 210:
      “I cannot do it, Sir !” was his reply. “I fire into their ranks, and that does as well ; but to single out one among them, and mark him for death, would lie upon my mind afterwards.” The man who could feel thus was worthy of a better station than that in which his lot had been assigned.
    • 1857, William Hickling Prescott, “War with France”, in History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain, new edition, volume I, London: G. Routledge & Co., page 116:
      He assigned his men to their several posts, talked boldly of maintaining himself against all the troops of Spain, and by his cheerful tone endeavoured to inspire a confidence in others which he was far from feeling himself.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      Captain Edward Carlisle [] felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, []; he could not tell what this prisoner might do. He cursed the fate which had assigned such a duty, cursed especially that fate which forced a gallant soldier to meet so superb a woman as this under handicap so hard.
  4. (transitive) To attribute or sort (something) into categories.
    1. (LGBT) To categorize (someone) as belonging to the male or female sex.
  5. (transitive, law) To transfer (property, a legal right, etc.) from one person to another.
  6. (transitive, programming) To give (a value) to a variable.
    We assign 100 to x.

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun edit

assign (plural assigns)

  1. An assignee.
  2. (obsolete) A thing relating or belonging to something else; an appurtenance.
  3. (obsolete) An assignment or appointment.
  4. (obsolete) A design or purpose.
    • 1609, John Ford, “Fame's Memorial: An Elegy upon the Earl of Devonshire”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name), page 9:
      He aim’d at high designs, and so attain’d / The high assigns to which his spirit aim’d.