verb as·sess \ə-ˈses, a-\

: to make a judgment about (something)

: to officially say what the amount, value, or rate of (something) is

: to tax or charge (someone or something) : to require (a person, business, etc.) to pay a particular amount of money

Full Definition of ASSESS

transitive verb
:  to determine the rate or amount of (as a tax)
a :  to impose (as a tax) according to an established rate
b :  to subject to a tax, charge, or levy
:  to make an official valuation of (property) for the purposes of taxation
:  to determine the importance, size, or value of <assess a problem>
:  to charge (a player or team) with a foul or penalty
as·sess·able \-ˈse-sə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of ASSESS

  1. After the hurricane, officials assessed the town's need for aid.
  2. We need to assess whether or not the system is working.
  3. Damage to the boat was assessed at $5,000.
  4. The company was assessed $12 million in fines for polluting the river.
  5. Cornell graduate student James Tanner spent three years in the early 1940s slogging southern swamps and bayous to assess where and how the species could be saved. By his reckoning, no more than twenty-four ivory-bills remained in the entire Southeast. —John Terborgh, New York Review of Books, 26 Apr. 2007

Origin of ASSESS

Middle English, probably from Medieval Latin assessus, past participle of assidēre, from Latin, to sit beside, assist in the office of a judge — more at assize
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of ASSESS

estimate, appraise, evaluate, value, rate, assess mean to judge something with respect to its worth or significance. estimate implies a judgment, considered or casual, that precedes or takes the place of actual measuring or counting or testing out <estimated the crowd at two hundred>. appraise commonly implies the fixing by an expert of the monetary worth of a thing, but it may be used of any critical judgment <having their house appraised>. evaluate suggests an attempt to determine relative or intrinsic worth in terms other than monetary <evaluate a student's work>. value equals appraise but without implying expertness of judgment <a watercolor valued by the donor at $500>. rate adds to estimate the notion of placing a thing according to a scale of values <a highly rated restaurant>. assess implies a critical appraisal for the purpose of understanding or interpreting, or as a guide in taking action <officials are trying to assess the damage>.

Other Economics Terms

actuary, compound interest, globalization, indemnity, portfolio, rentier, stagflation, usurer
ASSESSABLE Defined for Kids


verb as·sess \ə-ˈses\

Definition of ASSESS for Kids

:  to make a judgment about <The school assessed the students' progress each year.>
:  to decide on the rate, value, or amount of (as for taxation) <The jury assessed damages of $5000.> <The house was assessed at $140,000.>
:  to put a charge or tax on <The city assessed all car owners a fee.>
as·ses·sor \-ər\ noun <a tax assessor>

Headscratcher for ASSESS

Assesses is the longest word in English that contains only one consonant repeated over and over again.


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