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[kuh n-sahyn] /kənˈsaɪn/
verb (used with object)
to hand over or deliver formally or officially; commit (often followed by to).
to transfer to another's custody or charge; entrust.
to set apart for or devote to (a special purpose or use):
to consign two afternoons a week to the club.
to banish or set apart in one's mind; relegate:
to consign unpleasant thoughts to oblivion.
  1. to ship, as by common carrier, especially for sale or custody.
  2. to address for such shipment.
Obsolete. to confirm or ratify, as with a seal or other token.
verb (used without object)
to agree or assent.
Obsolete. to yield or submit.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; apparently (< Middle French consigner) < Medieval Latin consignāre to mark with sign of cross, Latin: to mark with a seal. See con-, sign
Related forms
consignable, adjective
[kon-sig-ney-shuh n] /ˌkɒn sɪgˈneɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
preconsign, verb (used with object)
reconsign, verb (used with object)
unconsignable, adjective
unconsigned, adjective
1. relegate, assign. 2. confide. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for consigned
  • The second is when the body is consigned to the grave.
  • Until late last year the dealmaking had been safely consigned to the annals of shareholder-value destruction.
  • They have consigned smallpox to history and should soon do the same for polio.
  • Garbage trucks are about to be consigned to the dustbin of history.
  • He had packed it in a trunk and consigned it to himself.
  • Books are consigned to stores, which is a wacky way to distribute anything.
  • They play a strain of punk that has consigned innumerable bands to the obscurity of dive bars and pirate radio.
  • For better or worse, it's consigned to the fickle custody of history.
  • It was traditionally consigned to hedgerows, protecting more valuable, edible crops from peckish goats.
  • Rightly, that is now consigned to the scrapheap of woeful clichés.
British Dictionary definitions for consigned


verb (mainly transitive)
to hand over or give into the care or charge of another; entrust
to commit irrevocably: he consigned the papers to the flames
to commit for admittance: to consign someone to jail
to address or deliver (goods) for sale, disposal, etc: it was consigned to his London address
(intransitive) (obsolete) to assent; agree
Derived Forms
consignable, adjective
consignation, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French consigner, from Latin consignāre to put one's seal to, sign, from signum mark, sign
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for consigned



early 15c., "to ratify by a sign or seal," from Middle French consigner (15c.), from Latin consignare "to seal, register," originally "to mark with a sign," from com- "together" (see com-) + signare "to sign, mark," from signum "sign" (see sign (n.)). Commercial sense is from 1650s. Related: Consignee; consignor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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