as·​sess | \ə-ˈses, a-\
assessed; assessing; assesses

Definition of assess 

transitive verb

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 rate

b : 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

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Other Words from assess

assessable \ -​ˈse-​sə-​bəl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for assess


charge, exact, fine, impose, lay, levy, put



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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

These cautionary measures also are being assessed at many area schools. Darryl Enriquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "South Milwaukee school referendum would help troubled students by hiring mental-health professionals," 2 July 2018 Studies of the Southern Ocean will allow scientists to assess this ocean’s impact on the Earth’s biosphere and climate. Discover Magazine, "The Salt Life," 27 June 2018 KCI of Sparks will be paid $49,585 to assess the impact of stormwater on the quality of water within the town’s watersheds, survey impervious surfaces surfaces around town and recommend best management practices to reduce impacts, Kline said. Allan Vought, The Aegis, "Bel Air approves contracts for parking garage striping, Armory security upgrades," 22 June 2018 Whitney Tucker, research director at NC Child, said the organization was struck by the tragic nature of the opioid epidemic and wanted to assess its impact on North Carolina's children. Caroline Metzler, charlotteobserver, "Opioid crisis drives increase in NC foster care enrollment, nonprofit finds," 15 June 2018 One big reason for this — aside from the obvious fact that nothing like an Amazon has ever come to Indianapolis before, so there are not relevant comparisons — can be found in a Zillow study that attempts to assess this impact. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "Would a new Amazon headquarters raise Indianapolis' rent prices? Maybe not.," 25 May 2018 Childhood obesity increases your kids' risk of chronic disease There is no one right approach to obtaining an accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatment, but some experts suggest assessing the impact of a trial dose of TRT for three to six months. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, "Testosterone replacement therapy is tough. Why don't we talk about it?," 17 May 2018 World Peace was immediately assessed two technical fouls and ejected, walking back into the bowels of the stadium as boos rained down upon him. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Metta World Peace ejected from BIG3 basketball game in Detroit," 13 July 2018 New prisoners are assessed for addictions on the day they are locked up. The Economist, "Welsh prisons are much harsher than England’s on opioid treatment," 12 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of assess

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for assess

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assess

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

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More Definitions for assess



English Language Learners Definition of assess

: 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


as·​sess | \ə-ˈses \
assessed; assessing

Kids Definition of assess

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.

Other Words from assess

assessor \ -​ər \ noun a tax assessor
as·​sess | \ə-ˈses \

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

Other Words from assess

assessable \ ə-​ˈse-​sə-​bəl \ adjective
assessment noun

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