Definition of consign in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Deliver (something) to a person's custody, typically in order for it to be sold.

    ‘he consigned three paintings to Sotheby's’
    • ‘Knob Hill will not conduct a complete dispersal sale, but some horses may be consigned to future public auctions.’
    • ‘The listing of their names in London auction catalogues suggests that they had signed their paintings or that they had personally consigned them to be sold at auction.’
    • ‘Many listed companies have consigned large amounts of funds in security companies as investment in the stock market.’
    • ‘It must then be passed by customs before the aid agencies for which it is consigned can take it away in the waiting lorries.’
    • ‘Another consigns rugs, getting paid when they're sold.’
    • ‘She will stay there through the breeding season and return to the U.S. where they will consign her to the 2004 breeding stock sale.’
    • ‘People can consign gear they're not using anymore from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.’
    • ‘So to the extent that we give up powers to EU institutions, we are giving up democracy itself, and consigning our governance to people we did not elect and cannot remove.’
    • ‘Cargoes of goods or bullion had to be consigned to Asia with no expectation of any return for at least two years.’
    • ‘Anyone wishing to consign works to the sale should contact him for a valuation.’
    • ‘They next consigned him to the July sale where he fetched $230,000.’
    • ‘I know - I saw what a free market without independent courts and democratic accountability did to Russia in the 1990s, consigning millions to extreme poverty and making a few unbelievably rich.’
    • ‘They consigned him to the two-year-olds in training sale but he once again returned unsold on a final bid of $145,000.’
    • ‘He has consigned her to the Keeneland November breeding stock sale but said he would not decide her fate until after the Distaff.’
    assign, allocate, place, put, entrust, grant, remit, hand down, bequeath
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Send (goods) by a public carrier.
      • ‘The Driver hauled the shipments in a pup trailer to St. Ignace, Mich., where he consigned the shipment to the ferry operator, which was required to follow all the company procedures.’
      • ‘There are occasions where it is acceptable to consign the shipment directly to the importer, but it would be wise for the shipper to have a long-standing relationship with his/her customer, along with a good payment history, before agreeing to these terms.’
      • ‘Both he and the owner of the truck claimed they didn't know who consigned the dolphin meat for delivery.’
      • ‘The Customer, or an agent of the Customer, shall consign the shipment directly to the actual transporting freight carrier.’
      • ‘The cargo was consigned to yet another firm, registered in the British Virgin Islands.’
      send, send off, dispatch, transmit, transfer, convey, post, mail, ship
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2consign someone/something to Assign; commit decisively or permanently.
      ‘she consigned the letter to the wastebasket’
      • ‘There is no doubt innovative solutions are required to prevent such projects being consigned to the scrapheap because of funding issues.’
      • ‘In contrast, gay rights is an issue that for decades was consigned to the margins of the political debate.’
      • ‘And what if the student loses the knack of writing essays or consigns current knowledge of their subject to a dusty chamber in the back of their mind, never to be fully recovered?’
      • ‘There was no escaping either the ironies or the career implications of the situation and both the record and the band were speedily consigned to oblivion.’
      • ‘At best, the advocates of this approach consign themselves to a relevance bound by the walls of the academy.’
      • ‘Bring on the day when undressed iceberg lettuce with cucumber and grated carrot are consigned to the dustbin.’
      • ‘Electrical equipment worth thousands of pounds was consigned to the scrapheap, along with our easy way of life.’
      • ‘He wants to sort out a system for organising incapacity benefit, which he believes consigns hundreds of thousands of people to a lifetime trapped in a culture of welfare dependency.’
      • ‘Critics last night warned that consigning the sprawling army camp to history would not defuse the furious row over the ill-treatment meted out to teenagers entrusted to the care of commanders at the site.’
      • ‘We are consigning hundreds of thousands of kids growing up in the inner cities to lives of failure because we are not teaching them to read.’
      • ‘Lay men and women should not think that the secular character of their vocation consigns them to an inferior rank in the Church's mission.’
      • ‘Those events are now consigned to history and we look forward to an exciting year.’
      • ‘And anyway, weren't thongs and G-strings supposed to be the breakthrough in consigning the dreaded panty line to history?’
      • ‘Our laughably low minimum wage consigns thousands of hard-working Ontarians to unnecessary poverty.’
      • ‘The act of consigning Christmas to the nether regions of the storage unit started an organizational blizzard.’
      • ‘Against the backdrop of these feeble intellectual currents lurks the traditionalist discourse that altogether consigns modern science to oblivion and attempts to prop up a fatal mix of mystical and alchemical knowledge.’
      • ‘If ever he invited me on to his programme, in which he consigns people's pet hates to the dustbin of history, I'd have no trouble with my nominations.’
      • ‘I consigned them to the trash without taking off the lids.’
      • ‘His family, who claimed that he was ‘too much trouble to deal with’, consigned Henry to a nursing home in December 1986.’
      • ‘Yet even as trends pull delivery toward a more natural sphere, women consign enormous aspects of the childbearing process to technology, especially when there is trouble conceiving.’
      • ‘Their deeds have consigned hundreds of thousands of Americans to the ranks of the unemployed.’
      • ‘Yet this which should have consigned him to early oblivion really procured him immortality of fame and reverence.’
      • ‘Plato notoriously consigned art to the realm of shadows and illusions, and found no place for artists in the ideal society.’
      • ‘Why are they - more than him - pursuing policies that will consign many people with HIV to earlier deaths?’
      • ‘Instead of enabling them to cope with the situation in which they had been placed, the anguish itself became an additional disability because it consigned them to a life of permanent frustration.’
      • ‘All those concerns are now consigned to history.’
      • ‘Accurate filling of application forms for grant aid is essential as an incomplete form is usually consigned to the dustbin.’
      • ‘Traditional architects must wake up from dreams of ancient techniques that consign them to little things and low horizons.’
      • ‘In a region where history is never consigned to the dustbin, ancient hostilities are dusted down almost daily.’
      • ‘A long tradition in Victorian gender ideology designated middle-class women as guardians of society only by consigning them to the selfless realms of moral education and childbearing.’
      • ‘Here was a man who had dedicated his life to this community, thus consigning his political career to the margins of the then Labour party.’
      • ‘Otherwise we consign people who are engaged in the essence of democratic debate to the conceptual dustbin of those who are ‘against us.’’
      • ‘Long after everyone has consigned their tinsel and baubles to the loft for another year, it seems Rochdale Council is still in the Yuletide mood.’
      • ‘One by one, they will shut until coal mines are finally consigned to history.’
      • ‘Amid a blaze of publicity, he was immediately consigned to solitary confinement in a maximum security prison cell.’
      • ‘By turning its back on Bradford City the council is consigning part of the soul of a once-proud city to the dustbin of history.’
      • ‘Or perhaps we can follow the lead of English soccer leagues, which regularly consign teams with losing records to second tier divisions.’
      • ‘The traditional smoky Irish pub was officially consigned to the past today as a blanket ban on smoking in the workplace came into force.’
      • ‘They would feel, perhaps, what gay couples now feel, which is that society is diminishing the importance of their relationships by consigning them to a category that seems inferior to the desired social standard.’
      • ‘Not only were they consigning their offspring to a lifetime of obesity, it was claimed, but they were also causing congestion in residential areas.’
      send, deliver, hand over, give over, turn over, sentence
      deposit, commit, put away, banish, relegate
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘mark with the sign of the cross’, especially at baptism or confirmation, as a sign of dedication to God): from French consigner or Latin consignare ‘mark with a seal’.