2

I consulted Definition 1, in which the definition and examples are ambiguous about the connotation. Yet Definition 1.2 is surely negative: '...to be rid ....'
So what's the connotation? I thought to include another example from p 63, Ward Farnsworth:

Your defense comes from federal law, but my initial claim against you doesn’t. So the case is consigned to the state courts.

I also consulted http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=consign&searchmode=none; the etymology for 'consign' is partially:

from com- "together" (see com-) + signare "to sign, mark," from signum "sign"

This suggests an air of officialdom and austerity, but is this true presently?

  • 1
    I so rarely hear that word used in American English that it would strike me as odd. Consignment being the exception, which does note have a negative connotation. – UnhandledExcepSean Jul 30 '14 at 19:25
1

Consign has no negative connotation other than any imparted by its context.

Definition 1.2 from your source is only negative if used that way. She could have just as easily consigned it to her box of most treasured secrets.

Regarding books that Google has cataloged for use with its NGram feature, the published usage of the word 'Consign' is down by 86 percent, or so, from it's peak in popularity around the mid 1820s.
See chart here.

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