ascertain

verb
as·​cer·​tain | \ ˌa-sər-ˈtān How to pronounce ascertain (audio) \
ascertained; ascertaining; ascertains

Definition of ascertain

transitive verb

1 : to find out or learn with certainty ascertain the truth trying to ascertain the cause of the fire information that can be easily ascertained on the Internet
2 archaic : to make certain, exact, or precise

Other Words from ascertain

ascertainable \ ˌa-​sər-​ˈtā-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce ascertain (audio) \ adjective
ascertainment \ ˌa-​sər-​ˈtān-​mənt How to pronounce ascertain (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for ascertain

discover, ascertain, determine, unearth, learn mean to find out what one did not previously know. discover may apply to something requiring exploration or investigation or to a chance encounter. discovered the source of the river ascertain implies effort to find the facts or the truth proceeding from awareness of ignorance or uncertainty. attempts to ascertain the population of the region determine emphasizes the intent to establish the facts definitely or precisely. unable to determine the origin of the word unearth implies bringing to light something forgotten or hidden. unearth old records learn may imply acquiring knowledge with little effort or conscious intention (as by simply being told) or it may imply study and practice. I learned her name only today learning Greek

Examples of ascertain in a Sentence

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
Recent Examples on the Web Jurors saw a video of Depp slamming cabinets in a kitchen and pouring himself an oversized glass of wine with Heard trying to ascertain why Depp was mad. Staff And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 16 May 2022 Jurors saw a video of Depp slamming cabinets in a kitchen and pouring himself an oversized glass of wine with Heard trying to ascertain why Depp was mad. Matthew Barakat, ajc, 16 May 2022 If a Stop sign is detected by the ML/DL, this is conveyed to the AI driving system and the AI would need to ascertain a suitable means to use the driving controls to bring the self-driving car to a proper and safe stop. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 16 May 2022 Thus, executives should periodically revisit the decision tree to ascertain if their human-A.I. combination is still optimal. Matthieu Gombeaud, Fortune, 6 May 2022 Scientists have also attempted to ascertain if our noses can detect such compatibility – genetic compatibility, anyway. Emily Jensen, Allure, 29 Apr. 2022 Some records — 70 as of March 10, according to a briefing provided to Congress — remained unusable while auditors tried to ascertain what information had been mixed in from other charts. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive, 15 Apr. 2022 Western and Ukrainian military officials were trying to ascertain whether Russia had used or intended to use chemical weapons in a bid to subdue Mariupol. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2022 This is why the hymen examination or blood-on-the-wedding-night test aren’t the only virginity tests in existence; there is also the two-finger test, where fingers are inserted to ascertain the laxity of the vaginal wall. Sophia Smith Galer, refinery29.com, 13 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of ascertain

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for ascertain

Middle English acertainen to inform, give assurance to, from Anglo-French acerteiner, from a- (from Latin ad-) + certein, certain certain

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Time Traveler for ascertain

Time Traveler

The first known use of ascertain was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near ascertain

ascent

ascertain

ascesis

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Statistics for ascertain

Last Updated

28 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ascertain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ascertain. Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ascertain

ascertain

verb
as·​cer·​tain | \ ˌa-sər-ˈtān How to pronounce ascertain (audio) \
ascertained; ascertaining

Kids Definition of ascertain

: to find out with certainty Police tried to ascertain the cause of the accident.

More from Merriam-Webster on ascertain

Nglish: Translation of ascertain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ascertain for Arabic Speakers

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