Definition of assignment in English:



  • 1A task or piece of work allocated to someone as part of a job or course of study.

    ‘a homework assignment’
    • ‘Writing a research paper was the second assignment in the course.’
    • ‘The multicultural day was part of a school assignment, where students studied every aspect of a chosen culture.’
    • ‘I just hope I can keep the momentum going and not be tempted to procrastinate on assignments and tasks.’
    • ‘We both have people to talk to occasionally, and to call if we forgot a homework assignment, and study with and such, but neither us have had a real, actual friend since middle school.’
    • ‘No wonder our students are puzzled by the disjunction between course readings and academic writing assignments.’
    • ‘In this discussion we offer an overview of the guiding premises and the reading and writing assignments of the course.’
    • ‘Within the course, there were also five written case scenario homework assignments for the students to complete.’
    • ‘This means that she scored 6.5 or higher out of a possible seven in assignments throughout her course.’
    • ‘Since they were studying poetry at the moment, they had an in-class assignment to write an original poem in any style or meter.’
    • ‘Each week in my print culture course we have little assignments related to the topic of the week.’
    • ‘Course assignments must be completed within one year of enrolling.’
    • ‘There was an assignment over the course of the two days.’
    • ‘In addition to the in-class exercises, each session concluded with a homework assignment.’
    • ‘It is a viable technique that we use in many of our courses and assignments.’
    • ‘The books include writing assignments, as well as activities that link to social studies and science.’
    • ‘You've got to do your homework, complete class assignments and study for tests.’
    • ‘One of the highlights of the site is a set of sample exercises and assignments used in online courses at various campuses.’
    • ‘Undue demands in terms of course content, assignments and examinations should not be made.’
    • ‘The use of family exercises and homework assignments is imperative in enacting permanent change.’
    • ‘Parents can teach a child study skills with reading directions, study examples and writing down assignments.’
    task, piece of work, piece of business, job, duty, chore, charge, labour, function, commission, mission, errand, engagement, occupation, undertaking, exercise, business, office, responsibility, detail, endeavour, enterprise
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    1. 1.1[mass noun]The allocation of a job or task to someone.
      ‘the effective assignment of tasks’
      • ‘The film then blurs space-time boundaries as it sends the two filmmakers on assignment to interview the key characters surrounding the hero's life.’
      • ‘A weary group of well-known Tasmanian nature photographers has just walked out of there, on assignment for the World Wide Fund for Nature.’
      • ‘The memorial pays tribute to 1,606 reporters, editors, photographers and broadcasters who died or were killed on assignment.’
      • ‘Regardless of availability, career development in an officer's functional area is an important piece in the assignment process.’
      • ‘He was sent there on assignment and she tagged along.’
      • ‘A person whose performance has slacked off may be reacting to changes in the work environment, management, work task or assignment.’
      • ‘She's come to Australia on assignment and to visit her best friend Catherine.’
      • ‘Her conduct on assignment bordered on the unethical.’
      • ‘Many of you will have seen some permutation of the mass e-mail joke bouncing around where the narrator is a news photographer, on assignment, having to make a tough call.’
      • ‘They expect employees will be out on assignment for much of their time so they will not need the space which would once have been their base.’
      • ‘All the senior reporters working from the Chicago Tribune were out on assignment.’
      • ‘This would make a great difference in a situation where a destroyer developed critical problems while on assignment away from its base.’
      • ‘A National Geographic journalist will be on assignment around the area as well.’
      • ‘The majority of foreign workers come to India on assignment with their parent companies.’
      • ‘I spent Saturday morning roving around the neighborhood looking for yard sales… not because I wanted to buy anything, but because I was on assignment.’
      • ‘I had to decline as I'm going to be on assignment, either in Switzerland or Washington.’
      • ‘I have on occasion met some of my superiors on assignment, but they are usually in disguise or there is limited light.’
      • ‘What is the typical field worker's task assignment for the day?’
      • ‘And actually, I think Matt will be doing that interview, because I'll be traveling on assignment that day.’
      • ‘Marriage, and the birth of a son in 1875, did not hold him back from touring to faraway places on assignment, including the Arctic and Spain.’
  • 2[mass noun] The allocation of someone or something as belonging to a particular group or category.

    ‘the assignment of individuals to particular social positions’
    • ‘Because these projected experiments had never been done, assignment to a risk category was, of course, somewhat speculative and subjective.’
    • ‘Smears were taken using the same technique in both groups and interpreted by technicians who were not aware of the patient assignment in the study.’
    • ‘It is also the event which explains more clearly than any other the place of assignment, designation and organization in the life of mankind.’
    • ‘One drawback to the study was the nonrandom assignment to intervention and nonintervention groups.’
    • ‘These reviewers were not aware of the study group assignments of the patients.’
    • ‘The assignment of objects across cultures to any one of these categories ranged from the arbitrary and humorous to the disturbing and offensive.’
    • ‘All parties involved in vehicle assignment, issue, and maintenance should participate.’
    • ‘Altion is in the area of network capacity management, administration and circuit assignment.’
    • ‘But I also don't want to toss out controlled vocabularies, or expert assignment of categories.’
    • ‘Thus, current district policies on school assignment are likely to need a major overhaul.’
    • ‘They will cooperate in budget and financial management, staffing and assignment, medical information and information technology systems.’
    • ‘An assignment to this category is straightforward for duplicates with amino acid sequences of identical length.’
    • ‘Each derived categorical instrument has its own rules for status assignment.’
    • ‘Assembly, filling of gaps, and verification of ambiguous organism assignment would probably be performed most efficiently at one central laboratory.’
    • ‘No statistically significant difference existed in knowledge by task assignment of driver versus navigator.’
    • ‘Other issues include specific assignment of what equipment is required, and who provides the equipment for the contract.’
    • ‘The patient pathography is included as an integral part of the patient assignment for these courses.’
    • ‘The combat data system carries out automatic threat evaluation and weapon assignment, target designation, and hard and soft kill co-ordination.’
    • ‘This study is intended to generate hypotheses that can be tested using prospective research designs and/or random assignment to a controlled clinical trial.’
    • ‘Since not all the taxa included in the second group have been studied, the assignment of rank as subsections or sections requires more data.’
    allocation, allotment, issuing, issuance, awarding, grant, granting, administration, earmarking, designation, setting aside, budgeting
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  • 3An act of making a legal transfer of a right or liability.

    ‘an assignment of leasehold property’
    • ‘An assignment by the mortgagee is not such an action or proceeding.’
    • ‘There was no conveyance, assignment or transfer.’
    • ‘Sub-lettings, assignments, lease flexibility and concessions to tenants are now becoming the norm.’
    • ‘Moreover, transferees under an equitable assignment need to join the transferor when suing the debtor/obligor.’
    • ‘I therefore find that the assignment was valid and the assignee could sue in its own name.’
    transfer, making over, giving, passing on, handing down, conveyance, consignment, alienation
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    1. 3.1A document effecting a legal transfer of a right or liability.
      • ‘At this stage there is a lot of paper work to be completed such as, direct debits, life assignments, legal documents.’
      • ‘The employer executes a deed of assignment in standard form assigning legal ownership of the policies to each of the employees concerned and the insurers are notified accordingly.’
      • ‘The directors have incorporated the effect of the deed of assignment in these financial statements as they consider this gives a correct reflection of the nature of the underlying transactions.’
      • ‘The Court disregards the opinion of any witness for either side as to what constitutes an assignment document!’
      • ‘It is important to note that para 25 does no more, but no less, than to preserve the legal effect of a pre-commencement assignment or agreement to assign.’


Late Middle English: from Old French assignement, from medieval Latin assignamentum, from Latin assignare allot (see assign).