1560s, "act of sealing with a sign," from consign + -ment. (Earlier in this sense was consignation, 1530s, from Medieval Latin consignatio). Meaning "delivering over" is from 1660s; especially of goods, for the sake of sale or auction, from c. 1700. Meaning "quantity of goods so assigned" is recorded from 1720s.
updated on March 07, 2018