To assign is to specify something or someone for a specific purpose. If your sisters fight over whose turn it is to sit in the front seat, your parents may have to assign turns.

The verb assign also means to transfer legal rights. You assign the deed to your house to new owners when you sell it. If you sort things into categories by characteristics, you are assigning them categories. When you make a budget, you assign each expense a category. Food and housing, for example, may be essential living expenses and medicine and doctor's visits may be health care. Chocolate gets its own category.

Definitions of assign
  1. verb
    select something or someone for a specific purpose
    “The teacher assigned him to lead his classmates in the exercise”
    synonyms: set apart, specify
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    set apart to sacred uses with solemn rites, of a church
    assign to a specific task
    type of:
    choose, pick out, select, take
    pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives
  2. verb
    give an assignment to (a person) to a post, or assign a task to (a person)
    synonyms: delegate, depute, designate
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    assign authority to
    select to play,sing, or dance a part in a play, movie, musical, opera, or ballet
    assign to a post; put into a post
    assign the roles of (a movie or a play) to actors
    pass on or delegate to another
    assign a task to
    place somebody in a particular situation or location
    assign to a regiment
    reassign, transfer
    transfer somebody to a different position or location of work
    delegate, depute
    transfer power to someone
    assign under a mandate
    advance, elevate, kick upstairs, promote, raise, upgrade
    give a promotion to or assign to a higher position
    break, bump, demote, kick downstairs, relegate
    assign to a lower position; reduce in rank
    assign to (a job or a home)
    cast again, in a different role
    cast an actor, singer, or dancer in an unsuitable role
    cast repeatedly in the same kind of role
    transfer an employee to a different, temporary assignment
    hand over one and receive another, approximately equivalent
    give life-time employment to
    bring up
    promote from a lower position or rank
    spot promote
    promote on the spot
    ennoble, entitle, gentle
    give a title to someone; make someone a member of the nobility
    remove from the center of activity or attention; place into an inferior position
    bring to humbler or weaker state or condition
    favor, favour, prefer
    promote or prefer over another
    promote somebody by brevet, in the military
    type of:
    appoint, charge
    assign a duty, responsibility, or obligation to
  3. verb
    decide as to where something belongs in a scheme
    “The biologist assigned the mushroom to the proper class”
    synonyms: attribute
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    classify, relegate
    assign to a class or kind
    type of:
    evaluate, judge, pass judgment
    form a critical opinion of
  4. verb
    give out
    “We were assigned new uniforms”
    synonyms: allot, portion
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    allow, appropriate, earmark, reserve, set aside
    give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause
    allocate, apportion
    distribute according to a plan or set apart for a special purpose
    reallocate, reapportion
    allocate, distribute, or apportion anew
    ration, ration out
    distribute in rations, as in the army
    award, present
    give, especially as an honor or reward
    type of:
    administer, allot, deal, deal out, dish out, dispense, distribute, dole, dole out, lot, mete, mete out, parcel out, shell out
    administer or bestow, as in small portions
  5. verb
    attribute or give
    synonyms: put
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    put or confide something in a person or thing
    type of:
    apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
  6. verb
    attribute or credit to
    synonyms: ascribe, attribute, impute
    attribute (responsibility or fault) to a cause or source
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    attribute (responsibility or fault) to a cause or source
    carnalise, carnalize, sensualise, sensualize
    ascribe to an origin in sensation
    give someone credit for something
    attribute to another source
    anthropomorphise, anthropomorphize
    ascribe human features to something
    personate, personify
    attribute human qualities to something
    accredit, credit
    ascribe an achievement to
    blame, charge
    attribute responsibility to
    externalise, externalize, project
    regard as objective
    interiorise, interiorize, internalise, internalize
    incorporate within oneself; make subjective or personal
    type of:
    evaluate, judge, pass judgment
    form a critical opinion of
  7. verb
    transfer one's right to
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cause to change ownership
  8. verb
    make undue claims to having
    synonyms: arrogate
    see moresee less
    type of:
    arrogate, claim, lay claim
    demand as being one's due or property; assert one's right or title to
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