1. assign, apply, consign. 2. Devote, dedicate, consecrate share the sense of assigning or applying someone or something to an activity, function, or end. Devote, though it has some overtones of religious dedication, is the most general of the three terms: He devoted his free time to mastering the computer. Dedicate is more solemn and carries an ethical or moral tone: We are dedicated to the achievement of equality for all. Consecrate, even in nonreligious contexts, clearly implies a powerful and sacred dedication: consecrated to the service of humanity.