assess

verb

as·​sess ə-ˈses How to pronounce assess (audio)
a-
assessed; assessing; assesses

transitive verb

1
: to determine the rate or amount of (something, such as a tax, charge, or fine)
2
a
: 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
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.
Recent Examples on the Web The auditorium controlled by Harvest Rock Church is assessed at $13.5 million, public records show. Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times, 3 July 2024 In Beryl’s wake, residents of the eastern Caribbean islands slammed by the fast-moving and hard-hitting storm were assessing damages on Tuesday. Alex Harris, Miami Herald, 2 July 2024 Affected islands were assessing damage from the storm. Troy Witcher, Washington Post, 2 July 2024 Your healthcare team will ask you to undergo a thorough evaluation to assess your eligibility. Laura Dorwart, Verywell Health, 2 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for assess 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'assess.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near assess

Cite this Entry

“Assess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assess. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

assess

verb
as·​sess ə-ˈses How to pronounce assess (audio)
a-
1
: to set the rate or amount of
the jury assessed damages of $5000
2
: to set a value on (as property) for tax purposes
a house assessed at $263,000
3
: to put a tax or charge on
the city assessed all car owners $25
4
: to find out or decide the importance, size, or value of
assess the problem
assessable adjective

Legal Definition

assess

transitive verb
as·​sess ə-ˈses How to pronounce assess (audio)
1
: to determine the rate or amount of (as a tax)
2
a
: 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 adjective
assessment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on assess

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