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Definition of assignment

task , duty , job , chore , stint , assignment mean a piece of work to be done.

task implies work imposed by a person in authority or an employer or by circumstance.

duty implies an obligation to perform or responsibility for performance.

job applies to a piece of work voluntarily performed; it may sometimes suggest difficulty or importance.

chore implies a minor routine activity necessary for maintaining a household or farm.

stint implies a carefully allotted or measured quantity of assigned work or service.

assignment implies a definite limited task assigned by one in authority.

Examples of assignment in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'assignment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

see assign entry 1

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Phrases Containing assignment

  • self - assignment

Dictionary Entries Near assignment

Cite this entry.

“Assignment.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2024.

Legal Definition

Legal definition of assignment, more from merriam-webster on assignment.

Nglish: Translation of assignment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assignment for Arabic Speakers

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Meaning of assignment in English

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  • It was a plum assignment - more of a vacation really.
  • He took this award-winning photograph while on assignment in the Middle East .
  • His two-year assignment to the Mexico office starts in September .
  • She first visited Norway on assignment for the winter Olympics ten years ago.
  • He fell in love with the area after being there on assignment for National Geographic in the 1950s.
  • act as something
  • all work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy) idiom
  • be at work idiom
  • be in work idiom
  • housekeeping
  • in the line of duty idiom
  • short-staffed
  • undertaking

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

assignment | Intermediate English

Assignment | business english, examples of assignment, collocations with assignment.

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plural word of assignment

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  • 1.1 Etymology
  • 1.2 Pronunciation
  • 1.3.1 Synonyms
  • 1.3.2 Derived terms
  • 1.3.3 Derived terms
  • 1.3.4 Derived terms
  • 1.3.5 Derived terms
  • 1.3.6 Derived terms
  • 1.3.7 Derived terms
  • 1.3.8 Derived terms
  • 1.3.9 Derived terms
  • 1.3.10 Derived terms
  • 1.3.11 Derived terms
  • 1.3.12 Derived terms
  • 1.3.13 Translations

English [ edit ]

Etymology [ edit ].

From Middle English assignen , from Old French assigner , asigner , from Latin assignō , from ad- + signō ( “ mark, sign ” ) .

Pronunciation [ edit ]

  • IPA ( key ) : /əˈsaɪn/
  • Hyphenation: as‧sign
  • Rhymes: -aɪn

Verb [ edit ]

assign ( third-person singular simple present assigns , present participle assigning , simple past and past participle assigned )

  • ( transitive ) To designate or set apart (something) for some purpose . to assign a day for trial
  • ( transitive ) To appoint or select (someone) for some office . to assign counsel for a prisoner
  • 1829 , Robert Southey , Sir Thomas More: Or, Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society , volume I, London: John Murray, page 210 : “I cannot do it, Sir !” was his reply. “I fire into their ranks, and that does as well ; but to single out one among them, and mark him for death, would lie upon my mind afterwards.” The man who could feel thus was worthy of a better station than that in which his lot had been assigned.
  • 1857 , William Hickling Prescott , “War with France”, in History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain , new edition, volume I, London: G. Routledge & Co., page 116 : He assigned his men to their several posts, talked boldly of maintaining himself against all the troops of Spain, and by his cheerful tone endeavoured to inspire a confidence in others which he was far from feeling himself.
  • 1910 , Emerson Hough , chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise , Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company , →OCLC : Captain Edward Carlisle [ … ] felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze,   [ … ] ; he could not tell what this prisoner might do. He cursed the fate which had assigned such a duty, cursed especially that fate which forced a gallant soldier to meet so superb a woman as this under handicap so hard.
  • ( LGBT ) To categorize (someone) as belonging to the male or female sex .
  • ( transitive , law ) To transfer ( property , a legal right, etc.) from one person to another.
  • ( transitive , programming ) To give (a value) to a variable . We assign 100 to x.

Synonyms [ edit ]

  • ( set apart something for some purpose ) : allocate , earmark ; see also Thesaurus:set apart
  • ( transfer property ) : consign , convey ; see also Thesaurus:transfer

Derived terms [ edit ]

  • assignability
  • nonassigned
  • preassigned
  • bioassimilability


  • bioassimilable
  • inassimilable
  • nonassimilable
  • phytoassimilable
  • assimilatable
  • unassimilatable


  • bioassimilated
  • nonassimilated
  • unassimilated



  • deassimilate
  • disassimilate
  • photoassimilate
  • reassimilate


  • nonassimilating
  • unassimilating


  • antiassimilationist
  • assimilativeness
  • disassimilative
  • unassimilative
  • photoassimilatory
  • reassimilatory


  • assignation

Noun [ edit ]

assign ( plural assigns )

  • 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens , “Stave I. Marley’s Ghost.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas , London: Chapman & Hall ,   [ … ] , →OCLC , page 2 : Scrooge knew he was dead ? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise ? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and his sole mourner.
  • c. 1599–1602 (date written) , William Shakespeare , The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke:   [ … ] (Second Quarto), London: [ … ] I [ ames ] R [ oberts ] for N [ icholas ] L [ ing ]   [ … ] , published 1604 , →OCLC , [Act V, scene ii]: The King ſir hath wagerd with him ſix Barbary horſes, againgſt the which hee has impaund as I take it ſix French Rapiers and Poynards, with their aſſignes, as girdle, hanger and ſo.
  • ( obsolete ) An assignment or appointment .
  • 1609 , John Ford , “Fame's Memorial: An Elegy upon the Earl of Devonshire”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name) , page 9 : He aim’d at high designs, and so attain’d / The high assigns to which his spirit aim’d.

plural word of assignment

  • English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
  • English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *sek-
  • English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *sekʷ- (follow)
  • English terms inherited from Middle English
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Definition of 'assignment'

IPA Pronunciation Guide

assignment in British English

Assignment in american english, examples of 'assignment' in a sentence assignment, cobuild collocations assignment, trends of assignment.

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  • assigned randomly
  • assigned risk
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  • seat assignment
  • tough assignment
  • writing assignment
  • challenging assignment
  • difficult assignment
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The Plural Forms of Words

What are the plural forms of words.

the plural forms of words

Forming the Plurals of Nouns

  • 1 dog > 2 dogs
  • 1 house > 2 houses
  • 1 video > 2 videos
  • How to form the plurals of nouns (spelling rules)
  • How to form the plurals of compound nouns (e.g., mothers-in-law, Knights Templar)
  • How to form the plurals of abbreviations (e.g., MOTs, L.R.S.s)

What Are the Plural Pronouns?

What is the plural form of a verb, what are plural demonstrative determiners.

wrong cross

Forming the Plurals of Foreign Words

  • stadium > stadia or stadiums
  • datum > data
  • radius > radii or radiuses
  • agendum > agenda

"Plural" Also Applies to Zero

  • 0 dogs (plural)
  • 1 dog (singular)
  • 2 dogs (plural)
  • 3 dogs (plural)
  • There are no alligators in the lake.

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Plural Nouns – Rules, List of Examples & Worksheet

Photo of author

| Candace Osmond

Photo of author

Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

The English language groups grammatical nouns as either singular or plural. That means there are either one or multiple persons, places, objects, events, or animals.

Did you know that there’s more than one rule on how to make a word plural? In my little guide, I’ll show you the two types of plural nouns, their rules, and a list of examples. I also provided a worksheet that will test your understanding of plural nouns.

What Is a Plural Noun?

Grammarist Article Graphic V4 71

While singular-form nouns refer to one person, place, object, or event, plural nouns refer to a type of noun whose quantity is more than one.

For instance, the noun apples is the plural form of the singular noun apple . It means there can be two or more apples. The same is true with the noun buses, which is the plural form of the singular noun bus. The plural form of the singular noun bug is the noun bugs.

I live in Eastern Canada, and one of our well-known animals is a moose. I am always puzzled over what the plural of it is. Mooses? Meese? The answer is actually just moose. There are some exceptions to plural nouns like this.

But here are more plural noun examples that make sense.

  • Film – films
  • Baby – babies
  • Ox – oxen

Remember: mass nouns , non-count nouns, or uncountable nouns do not have plural forms. For example:

Plural Nouns vs. Singular Nouns

Singular nouns represent a single quantity of any noun. It can be a person, place, event, object, or animal. For example:

  • A strand of hair

Plural nouns refer to something whose quantity is more than one. For example:

  • Five dresses
  • Two strands of hair
  • Those daisies

Plural Nouns vs. Possessive Nouns

Grammarist Article Graphic V4 72

Possessive nouns are one of the types of nouns that show ownership. Like plural nouns, they end in s. However, possessive nouns always have an apostrophe ( ‘ ) before the s. Consider this example:

  • The lamp’s bulb.

Here, lamp’s refer to the possession of lamp instead of multiple lamps. The lamp has a bulb.

Here are more examples of possessive nouns.

  • Rose’s artwork
  • Mira’s phone
  • The lion’s tail

Plural nouns do not have possessive forms unless they are possessive plural nouns. For example:

  • Jackets’ pockets (possessive plural noun)
  • Students’ books (possessive plural noun)

Plural Nouns vs. Collective Nouns

Unlike plural nouns, collective nouns represent groups of people, things, or animals. For instance, a school of fish represents a group of fish as a united whole. Here are more examples of collective nouns.

  • A pair (of shoes)
  • A pack (of cards)
  • A pride (of lions)
  • A class (of students)

Notice how these collective nouns are treated as singular nouns. If we say pairs of shoes, we refer to more than a pair.

What Is a Regular Plural Noun?

Regular nouns are nouns that follow the typical pattern of making them plural.

There are simple rules for making regular nouns plural. We either add -s or -es to the end of the word, depending on its ending. Sometimes, we also change the last letter of the word before adding -s.

Add -s to the end of a word when making it plural. For example:

  • Cat – cats
  • Dog – dogs
  • Idea – ideas

Add -es to the end of a word if its singular form ends in -s, -ss, -ch, -x, -sh, -o, or -z. For example:

  • Bus – buses
  • Lass – lasses
  • Bush – bushes
  • Crutch – crutches
  • Box – boxes
  • Blitz – blitzes
  • Mango – mangoes

A few words, such as photos , pianos , and halos , are exceptions .

The plural noun form may require you to double the -s or -z before adding -es. For example:

  • Fez – fezzes

If the regular noun ends in -f, fe, change it to ve, then add -s. For example:

  • Wife – wives
  • Knife – knives

Another regular plural noun rule is to change -y into -ies. For example:

  • City – cities
  • Puppy – puppies

But if the letter before -y is a vowel, just add an -s. For example:

  • Ray – rays
  • Toy – toys

Singular nouns that end in -us will change into -i for their plural forms. For example:

  • Cactus – cacti

Change the word into -es if the singular noun ends in -is. For example:

  • Analysis – analyses
  • Parenthesis – parentheses

If the singular noun ends in -on, change it into -a. For example:

  • Phenomenon – phenomena

Check out this list of regular plural nouns.

  • Boss – bosses
  • Candy – candies
  • Gift – gifts
  • Curry – curries
  • Day – days
  • Collection – collections
  • Movie – movies
  • Tray – trays
  • Shoe – shoes

What Is an Irregular Plural Noun?

Irregular noun rules are inconsistent because they follow no specific guidelines. For example, the irregular plural noun form of child is children, and goose’s plural form is geese. Here are more examples.

  • Man – men
  • Foot – feet
  • Mouse – mice
  • Person – people

Another tip when using irregular nouns is recognizing that some are identical to their singular noun counterparts. They can be troublesome nouns because it takes memorization to identify these words. Here are some examples:

  • Fish – fish
  • Moose – moose
  • Species – species
  • Sheep – sheep
  • Deer – deer

Below is a list of irregular plural nouns.

  • Woman – women
  • Aircraft – aircraft
  • Means – means
  • Trout – trout
  • Swine – swine
  • Salmon – salmon
  • Spacecraft – spacecraft
  • Series – series
  • Louse – lice
  • Penny – pence
  • Caveman – cavemen
  • Policeman – policemen
  • Alumna – alumnae
  • Formula – formulae
  • Index – indices
  • Appendix – appendices
  • Vertex – vertices
  • Axis – axes
  • Addendum – addenda
  • Datum – data
  • Forum – fora
  • Genus – genera
  • Stylus – styli

Summarizing English Plural Nouns

This article has taught you the plural nouns’ definition. This type of noun refers to more than one person, animal, place, idea, animal, or thing.

Remember that the plural form of nouns depends on their singular noun versions. For example, toy becomes toys, but knife becomes knives. Louse becomes lice, and sheep stays the same.

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plural word of assignment

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Word parts [ change ]

assign  +  -ment

Pronunciation [ change ]

  • ( US ) IPA ( key ) : /əˈsʌɪnm(ə)nt/

Noun [ change ]

  • ( countable ) An assignment is a task that is given to somebody for them to complete . The teacher gave Joe an assignment to complete while he is away on vacation.

Related words [ change ]

plural word of assignment

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Definition of assign verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • assign something (to somebody) The teacher assigned a different task to each of the children.
  • The two large classrooms have been assigned to us.
  • assign somebody something We have been assigned the two large classrooms.
  • The teacher assigned each of the children a different task.

Want to learn more?

Find out which words work together and produce more natural-sounding English with the Oxford Collocations Dictionary app. Try it for free as part of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary app.

plural word of assignment



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  1. What is the plural of assignment?

    The noun assignment can be countable or uncountable. In more general, commonly used, contexts, the plural form will also be assignment . However, in more specific contexts, the plural form can also be assignments e.g. in reference to various types of assignments or a collection of assignments. Find more words!


    ASSIGNMENT definition: 1. a piece of work given to someone, typically as part of their studies or job: 2. a job that…. Learn more.

  3. Assignment Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of ASSIGNMENT is the act of assigning something. How to use assignment in a sentence. Synonym Discussion of Assignment.

  4. Assignment Definition & Meaning

    1. : a job or duty that is given to someone : a task someone is required to do. [count] My assignment was to clean the equipment. = They gave me the assignment of cleaning the equipment. The students were given a homework assignment. The reporter's assignment is to interview the candidate. The reporter is here on an assignment.

  5. assignment noun

    Students are required to complete all homework assignments. You will need to complete three written assignments per semester. a business/special assignment ; I had set myself a tough assignment. on an assignment She is in Greece on an assignment for one of the Sunday newspapers. on assignment one of our reporters on assignment in China

  6. ASSIGNMENT definition in American English

    Word forms: plural assignments. countable noun. An assignment is a task or piece of work that you are given to do, especially as part of your job or studies. The assessment for the course involves written assignments and practical tests. Synonyms: task, work, job, charge More Synonyms of assignment.

  7. assignment

    assignment - WordReference English dictionary, questions, discussion and forums. All Free.

  8. ASSIGNMENT Definition & Meaning

    Assignment definition: something assigned, as a particular task or duty. See examples of ASSIGNMENT used in a sentence.


    ASSIGNMENT definition: a piece of work or job that you are given to do: . Learn more.

  10. assignment

    From Longman Business Dictionary assignment as‧sign‧ment / əˈsaɪnmənt / noun 1 [countable] a piece of work that someone is given My assignment was to save the company, whatever it took. 2 [uncountable] JOB when someone is given a particular job or task, or sent to work in a particular place or for a particular person With the agreement ...

  11. Assignment Definition & Meaning

    Assignment definition: The act of assigning. Dictionary Thesaurus Sentences Grammar Vocabulary Usage Reading & Writing ... Plural: assignments. Origin of Assignment Old French assignement. From Wiktionary. Assignment Sentence Examples ...


    ASSIGNMENT meaning: 1. a piece of work given to someone, typically as part of their studies or job: 2. a job that…. Learn more.

  13. assign verb

    Word Origin Middle English: from Old French asigner, assiner, from Latin assignare, from ad-'to' + signare 'to sign'. ... assignment noun; transform. verb . From the Word list. OPAL written words. Oxford Learner's Dictionaries Word of the Day. Oxford Learner's Dictionaries.

  14. assignment noun

    1 [countable, uncountable] a task or piece of work that someone is given to do, usually as part of their job or studies You will need to complete three written assignments per semester. She is in Greece on an assignment for one of the Sunday newspapers. one of our reporters on assignment in China I had given myself a tough assignment. a business/special assignment

  15. assignment

    The act of assigning; the allocation of a job or a set of tasks. This flow chart represents the assignment of tasks in our committee.· The categorization of something as belonging to a specific category. We should not condone the assignment of asylum seekers to that of people smugglers. (LGBT) The categorization of persons as belonging to the male or ...

  16. assign

    Verb [ edit] assign (third-person singular simple present assigns, present participle assigning, simple past and past participle assigned) ( transitive) To designate or set apart (something) for some purpose . to assign a day for trial. ( transitive) To appoint or select (someone) for some office . to assign counsel for a prisoner.

  17. ASSIGNMENT definition and meaning

    7 meanings: 1. something that has been assigned, such as a mission or task 2. a position or post to which a person is assigned.... Click for more definitions.

  18. Plural Forms of Words

    What Are the Plural Forms of Words? The word "plural" means "more than one in number." So, the plural form of the word "cat" is "cats," and the plural form of "mouse" is "mice." (Plural is the opposite of singular.) The term "plural" does not apply to just nouns (e.g., cats, mice), it also applies to pronouns, determiners, and verbs. For example:

  19. Plural Nouns

    A few words, such as photos, pianos, and halos, are exceptions. The plural noun form may require you to double the -s or -z before adding-es. For example: Fez - fezzes; If the regular noun ends in -f, fe, change it to ve, then add -s. For example: Wife - wives; Knife - knives; Another regular plural noun rule is to change -y into -ies ...

  20. assign verb

    1 to give someone something that they can use, or some work or responsibility assign something (to somebody) The two large classrooms have been assigned to us. The teacher assigned a different task to each of the children. assign somebody something We have been assigned the two large classrooms. The teacher assigned each of the children a different task.

  21. assignment

    Word parts: ·(countable) An assignment is a task that is given to somebody for them to complete. The teacher gave Joe an assignment to complete while he is away on vacation

  22. Assign Definition & Meaning

    Britannica Dictionary definition of ASSIGN. [+ object] 1. : to give someone a particular job or duty : to require someone to do a particular task. They assigned me the job of cleaning the equipment. = They assigned the job of cleaning the equipment to me. = They assigned me to clean the equipment. The teacher assigned us 50 math problems for ...

  23. assign verb

    Definition of assign verb in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more.