late 14c., resignacioun, "abdication, act of resigning" (an office, claim, etc.), from Old French resignation, resignacion (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin resignationem (nominative resignatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin resignare "annul, cancel, give back, resign" (see resign). Resignment also was used.
From c. 1500 ("Imitation of Christ") as "surrender to God, resignation to God." The non-spiritual meaning "quiet submission, unresisting acquiescence" is from 1640s.