Simple Definition of ascertain
: to learn or find out (something, such as information or the truth)
Examples of ascertain
We look at digital media—images, audio and video—and we try to ascertain whether or not they've been manipulated. We use mathematical and computational techniques to detect alterations in them. —Claudia Dreifus, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2007
Currently, an official trying to ascertain road damage in the aftermath of an earthquake might have to keep one eye on the TV news while listening to both radio traffic reports and the police scanner. Since most of these data are available in digital form, the software could take them all in, process them and present a report outlining the best evacuation routes. —Kevin Hogan, Technology Review, April 2002
With an equation linking the money wage to prices, the degree of inflation could be ascertained. —Sidney Weintraub, Modern Economic Thought, (1977) 1993
The information can be ascertained by anyone with a computer.
<was immediately able to ascertain that the girl was uncomfortable talking about her life at home>
Origin of ascertain
Middle English acertainen to inform, give assurance to, from Anglo-French acerteiner, from a- (from Latin ad-) + certein, certain certain
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of ascertain
Seen and Heard
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