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Definition of assign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

Definition of assign  (Entry 2 of 2)

ascribe , attribute , assign , impute , credit mean to lay something to the account of a person or thing.

ascribe suggests an inferring or conjecturing of cause, quality, authorship.

attribute suggests less tentativeness than ascribe , less definiteness than assign .

assign implies ascribing with certainty or after deliberation.

impute suggests ascribing something that brings discredit by way of accusation or blame.

credit implies ascribing a thing or especially an action to a person or other thing as its agent, source, or explanation.

Example Sentences

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assign.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback .

Word History

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French assigner , from Latin assignare , from ad- + signare to mark, from signum mark, sign

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Phrases Containing assign

Dictionary Entries Near assign

Cite this entry.

“Assign.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assign. Accessed 8 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of assign, legal definition, legal definition of assign.

Legal Definition of assign  (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on assign

Nglish: Translation of assign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assign for Arabic Speakers

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Cambridge Dictionary

Meaning of assigned in English

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assign verb [T] ( CHOOSE )

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

assign verb [T] ( SEND )

assign verb [T] ( COMPUTING )

assign verb [T] ( GIVE LEGALLY )

Phrasal verb.


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Origin of assign, synonym study for assign, other words from assign, words nearby assign, words related to assign, how to use assign in a sentence.

It is designed to listen to meetings with multiple participants and will parse discussion patterns to produce informative synopses and assign post-meeting action items.

Such randomized, double-blinded controlled trials randomly assign patients to receive a drug or a placebo, and don’t reveal to participants or doctors who is getting which.

That AI could pore over an astronaut’s symptoms and then recommend medical tests, make diagnoses and assign treatments.

So I rose beyond cleaning, to working as an operational dispatcher for cabin services in the American Airlines traffic control center, assign cleaning crews to each incoming aircraft.

Ideally, the Mars spaceship would be equipped with artificial intelligence that could consider an astronaut’s symptoms, recommend medical tests, make diagnoses and assign treatments.

Now the Kremlin will assign more loyal people to rule the region, mostly military leaders.

When we assign a primitive “not me” status to another individual or social group, it can—and does—take us down a destructive path.

Other folks can debate and assign blame for “who lost Iraq.”

Renee Richardson knows she'll likely never be able to assign blame for her son's death—she's done fighting for that.

Girls are directed through several pages of this until they are asked to assign the guy a series of pre-decided adjectives.

The designs of Russia have long been proverbial; but the exercise of the new art of printing may assign them new features.

With what honest pride did John Smith, the best farmer of them all, step to the fore and assign to each man his place!

If the lessee die, his executor or administrator can assign the remainder of his term.

As the lessee may assign or sublet unless forbidden, so may the lessor part with his interest in the leased premises.

If offered any dish of which you do not wish to partake, decline it, but do not assign any reason.

British Dictionary definitions for assign

Derived forms of assign, word origin for assign.

meaning assigned to it

assign   ​Definitions and Synonyms ​ ‌ ‌

Two senior officers were assigned to the investigation .

It’s his job to assign tasks to the various members of the team .

Mountbatten was assigned responsibility for retaking the territory .

He was assigned to the company ’s branch in Cairo.

Tina has been assigned to the intermediate learners ’ group .

I was assigned a car for my personal use.

The operation was assigned the code name “Rita.”

I have assigned four hours for recording the data .

All rights shall be assigned to the publisher .

American definition and synonyms of assign from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education.

This is the American English definition of assign . View British English definition of assign .

Change your default dictionary to British English.

View the pronunciation for assign .

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assigned; assigns; assigning

To assign is to specify something or someone for a specific purpose. If your sisters fight over whose turn it is to sit in the front seat, your parents may have to assign turns.

The verb assign also means to transfer legal rights. You assign the deed to your house to new owners when you sell it. If you sort things into categories by characteristics, you are assigning them categories. When you make a budget, you assign each expense a category. Food and housing, for example, may be essential living expenses and medicine and doctor's visits may be health care. Chocolate gets its own category.

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What Is the Definition of Assigns

Definition of assigns refers to the assignment of a contract, and it is what happens when one party in the contract gives his or her rights to another party. 3 min read

The definition of assigns refers to the assignment of a contract, and it is what happens when one party in the contract gives his or her rights to another party. The party giving away rights is the assignor and the one receiving the rights is the assignee. The assignor typically asks that the assignee perform all the contractual obligations and receive all the benefits of the agreement. The person assigned the contract has to be aware of this assignation.

Subleased Property is an Example of an Assignment

One easy way to show what an assignment is would be when a tenant in a leased property decides to move and assigns, or subleases the property to a third party. The new tenant then has the right to take up residence in the property along with the obligation to meet all terms from the original lease . There are times, however, when the contract language affects the ability to make this type of assignment. Contracts may prohibit assignment using a clause, while some contracts simply require the assignee to consent to the agreement.

Contractual Assignment Issues

It isn't always possible to simply assign a contract. Some examples include:

Anti-Assignment Clauses

An anti-assignment clause in a contract prohibits any assignment of the contract. If one of the parties tries to assign the contract, that assignment is void. This is common when an assignment:

Laws and Public Policies That Prohibit Assignment

Some examples of laws and public policies that prohibit contractual assignments include:

An anti-assignment clause can be worded simply, stating that the parties involved can't assign or delegate rights under the contract's terms.

Privity of Contract

The term privity of contract tells you that if the assignee picks up the assignor's contractual duties, it indicates if the assignee has agreed to take on the assignment. For the assignee to be held to the legal duty to meet the contractual obligations, there has to be an expressed intention to take on the responsibility the assignor originally held in the agreement. The contract between the original parties wouldn't affect the issue, and a provision in the contract wouldn't be binding on the assignee in regard to rights to perform the assignor's obligations under the contract.

Contractor Work as an Example of an Assignment

One way to envision the process of assignment is to imagine yourself as a housing contractor. Someone pays you a sum of money to do a job. You get hurt and can't do it, or maybe you decide you can make more on a different job. You hire someone, a third-party subcontractor , to do the job in your place. The person doing the work in your place is the assignee and you are the assignor. You might pay the person taking over the work the full amount, or you may take a cut and pay them a smaller amount.

Obligor's Agreement Not Required

The success of an assignment doesn't require the obligor's agreement. If the assignment is valid, and there is no clause in the original agreement prohibiting assignment, the obligor's duty shifts from the original contracting party, the assignor, to the assignee. The obligor, as the non-assigning party, is contractually obligated to fulfill his or her duty to the assignee.

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