c. 1300, from Old French assiginer (13c.) "assign, set (a date, etc.); appoint legally; allot," from Latin assignare "to mark out, to allot by sign, assign, award," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + signare "make a sign," from signum "mark" (see sign). Main original use was in English law, in transferences of personal property. General meaning "to fix, settle, determine, appoint" is from c. 1300. Related: Assigned; assigning.
1. It had been a monumental blunder to give him the assign-ment.
2. When teachers assign homework, students usually feel an obligation to do it.
3. It is possible to assign an exact date to this building.
4. It's wise to assign special exercises to the weaker students.
5. Influenced by old ideas, some units assign posts according to seniority.