verb ap·praise \ ə-ˈprāz \
|Updated on: 12 Aug 2018

Definition of appraise

appraised; appraising
1 : to set a value on : to estimate the amount of
  • appraise the damage
2 : to evaluate the worth, significance, or status of; especially : to give an expert judgment of the value or merit of
  • appraise an actor's career


play \ə-ˌprā-ˈzē\ noun


play \-ˈprāz-mənt\ noun




play \-ˈprā-ziŋ-lē\ adverb


play \-ˈprā-ziv\ adjective

Examples of appraise in a Sentence

  1. The ring must be appraised by a jeweler before it can be insured.

  2. appraise the house and property

  3. What is the property's appraised value?

  4. In the book, he appraises Hollywood's recent films and contrasts them with several independent films.

Recent Examples of appraise from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appraise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of appraise

Middle English appraysen, probably from Anglo-French *appreiser, from a- (from Latin ad-) + preiser to prize, praise

Synonym Discussion of appraise

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

Financial Definition of APPRAISE


What It Is

An appraiser is a person capable of providing an appraisal.

How It Works

An appraisal is a document that formally describes the value of a piece of property, usually exceeding $5,000. For example, let’s imagine that John Doe wants to donate a painting to his favorite charity. He believes the painting is worth $20,000. Instead of simply putting a $20,000 deduction on his tax return for the year, John Doe hires an appraiser to determine how much the painting is worth. A qualified appraiser provides an independent estimate, putting the value of the painting at $22,000. John Doe files IRS Form 8283 with his tax return and deducts $22,000.

Although almost anybody can estimate the value of goods or services, the IRS has very strict guidelines about who can be a "qualified appraiser." Among other things, the appraiser must have a professional appraiser designation from a national appraiser organization, perform appraisals regularly, meet certain education requirements and meet other guidelines as the IRS deems necessary. In many cases, a qualified appraiser can’t be the donor, the donee, anyone party to the acquisition of the property, or an employee or relative of anyone involved.

Appraisers charge a fee for appraisals, though for qualified appraisers, the fee cannot be based on or a percentage of the value of the property appraised. The cost of the appraisal itself is also not deductable as a charitable contribution, though it might be deductible elsewhere depending on the donor’s tax situation. Sometimes charities pay the appraisal fee, but some types of charities are restricted from doing so.

Why It Matters

For many securities, the market is a natural appraiser—it dictates the value of securities on an almost instantaneous basis throughout the day. But for less liquid things, such as houses, old cars, pieces of art, or ownership positions in private companies, it’s harder to decide what those things are worth. And in many cases, the value of an asset determines the price of a transaction or the size of a tax bill.

Accordingly, misleading asset pricing can also be a way to engage in tax fraud or lopsided deals. That’s why the IRS requires people who want to deduct certain large charitable donations to obtain qualified appraisals for those items. The IRS can impose penalties of 40% for a gross misstatement of a donation (and even a 20% penalty for just a “substantial” misstatement), and it can also penalize the appraisers involved in the misstatement.

APPRAISE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of appraise for English Language Learners

  • : to say how much something is worth after you have carefully examined it : to give an official opinion about the value of (something)

  • : to give your opinion about the condition, quality, or importance of (something or someone that you have studied or examined)

APPRAISE Defined for Kids


verb ap·praise \ ə-ˈprāz \

Definition of appraise for Students

appraised; appraising
: to set a value on
  • appraise a diamond

Law Dictionary


transitive verb ap·praise \ ə-ˈprāz \

legal Definition of appraise

appraised; appraising
: to estimate the value of : make an appraisal of



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