From Middle English assignen, from Old French assigner, asigner, from Latin assignō, from ad- + signō (“mark, sign”).
assign (third-person singular simple present assigns, present participle assigning, simple past and past participle assigned)
- (transitive) To designate or set apart (something) for some purpose.
- to assign a day for trial
- (transitive) To appoint or select (someone) for some office.
- to assign counsel for a prisoner
- (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.
- (transitive) To attribute or sort (something) into categories.
- (LGBT) To categorize (someone) as belonging to the male or female sex.
- (transitive, law) To transfer (property, a legal right, etc.) from one person to another.
- (transitive, programming) To give (a value) to a variable.
- We assign 100 to x.
- (set apart something for some purpose): allocate, earmark; see also Thesaurus:set apart
- (transfer property): consign, convey; see also Thesaurus:transfer
to designate or set apart something for some purpose
to appoint or select someone for some office
to allot or give something as a task
to attribute or sort something into categories
to transfer property, a legal right, etc., from one person to another
computing: to assign a value to a variable
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
assign (plural assigns)
- An assignee.
- 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave I. Marley’s Ghost.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, […], →OCLC, page 2:
- Scrooge knew he was dead ? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise ? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and his sole mourner.
- (obsolete) A thing relating or belonging to something else; an appurtenance.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: […] (Second Quarto), London: […] I[ames] R[oberts] for N[icholas] L[ing] […], published 1604, →OCLC, [Act V, scene ii]:
- The King ſir hath wagerd with him ſix Barbary horſes, againgſt the which hee has impaund as I take it ſix French Rapiers and Poynards, with their aſſignes, as girdle, hanger and ſo.
- (obsolete) An assignment or appointment.
- (obsolete) A design or purpose.