verb as·cer·tain \ˌa-sər-ˈtān\

: to learn or find out (something, such as information or the truth)

Full Definition of ASCERTAIN

transitive verb
archaic :  to make certain, exact, or precise
:  to find out or learn with certainty
as·cer·tain·able \-ˈtā-nə-bəl\ adjective
as·cer·tain·ment \-ˈtān-mənt\ noun

Examples of ASCERTAIN

  1. The information can be ascertained by anyone with a computer.
  2. <was immediately able to ascertain that the girl was uncomfortable talking about her life at home>
  3. 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


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


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