Definition of assess
1 : to determine the rate or amount of (something, such as a tax, charge, or fine)
2a : to impose (something, such as a tax) according to an established rateb : to subject to a tax, charge, or levy <Every homeowner will be assessed a tax according to the value of the property.>
3 : to make an official valuation of (property) for the purposes of taxation <Their property is assessed at $200,000.>
4 : to determine the importance, size, or value of <assess a problem> <assess the damage>
5 sports : to charge (a player or team) with a foul or penalty
assessableplay \-ˈse-sə-bəl\ adjective
Examples of assess in a sentence
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
When the training staff determined that Everett had no mobility below his neck, Cappuccino was waved onto the field. He performed a quick battery of tests to assess the severity of the injury, squeezing various parts of Everett's body and asking him to respond. —Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated, 17 Dec. 2007
Tetlock found that his experts used a double standard: they were much tougher in assessing the validity of information that undercut their theory than they were in crediting information that supported it. —Louis Menand, New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2005
Briefly, the way it works is this. Every time a hog is sold, the seller is assessed 40 cents per $100 of sale value to promote the consumption of pork. —Warren R. Ross, UU World, Fall 2005
After the hurricane, officials assessed the town's need for aid.
We need to assess whether or not the system is working.
Damage to the boat was assessed at $5,000.
The company was assessed $12 million in fines for polluting the river.
Origin and Etymology 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
ASSESS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of assess for English Language Learners
: 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
ASSESS Defined for Kids
Definition of assess for Students
1 : to make a judgment about <The school assessed the students' progress each year.>
2 : 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.>
3 : to put a charge or tax on <The city assessed all car owners a fee.>
assessor\-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.
Legal Definition of assess
1 : to determine the rate or amount of (as a tax)
2a : to impose (as a tax) according to an established rate b : to subject to a tax, charge, or levy <each property owner was assessed an additional five dollars>
3 : to make an official valuation of (property) for the purposes of taxation
assessable\ə-ˈse-sə-bəl\ play adjective
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up assess? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).