late 14c., from O.Fr. resigner
, from L. resignare
"to check off, cancel, give up," from re-
"opposite" + signare
"to make an entry in an account book," lit. "to mark" (see sign
). The sense is of making an entry (signum
) "opposite" -- on the credit side -- balancing the former mark and thus canceling the claim it represents. The meaning of "give up a position" is first recorded late 14c. Sense of "to give (oneself) up to some emotion or situation" is from 1718.