Definition of ascertain
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
ascertainableplay \-ˈtā-nə-bəl\ adjective
ascertainmentplay \-ˈtān-mənt\ noun
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 of ascertain from the Web
Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said the identities were ascertained after a lengthy investigation following Kentucky's 75-73 loss to North Carolina on March 26.
In a special board workshop Monday, La Cañada Unified school officials attempted to ascertain the impacts of a possible late start before deciding whether to change LCHS’ standard start time for the 2017-18 school year from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
A world that excludes the artist’s values is ascertained and described, while a new world that includes and engages them is not merely proposed but insisted upon.
The determination that the coprolites were made by a meat-eating animal narrowed down the list of suspects, but the actual identity of the scat-maker proved difficult to ascertain.
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.
Origin and Etymology 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
ASCERTAIN Defined for Kids
Definition of ascertain for Students
: to find out with certainty Police tried to ascertain the cause of the accident.
Seen and Heard
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