as·​sess | \ ə-ˈses How to pronounce assess (audio) , 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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Synonyms & Antonyms for assess



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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 The Birmingham air quality group Gasp asked the EPA to assess the area around ABC Coke in Tarrant, about a mile northeast of the 35th Avenue site. al, "First Black mayor-elect of Tarrant vows cleaner city," 12 Sep. 2020 Steve Kaufmann, a spokesman for the fire’s response team, said Thursday that 2,000 structures have been destroyed or damaged, though that number may increase after crews further assess the area. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Sad, tragic loss for all Californians’: Death toll in state’s wildfires at 20," 12 Sep. 2020 But Okudah isn’t listed as a starter on the Lions official depth chart and may only play sparingly Sunday as his coaching staff continues to assess his NFL readiness. Dan Wiederer,, "Bears notes and quotes: Leftovers from Week 1 Lions prep, including Cairo Santos’ search for stability, Robert Quinn’s possible replacements and Jaylon Johnson’s swagger," 11 Sep. 2020 To help assess these threats, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have in the past funded our work with the Extremist Crime Database, collecting data on crimes committed by ideologically motivated extremists in the U.S. Jeff Gruenewald, The Conversation, "19 years after 9/11, Americans continue to fear foreign extremists and underplay the dangers of domestic terrorism," 10 Sep. 2020 Having 12 days before his team's next game will give coach Ken Niumatalolo time to assess where things need to be fixed on both sides of the ball. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "Three observations from Brigham Young-Navy: Could BYU go undefeated?," 8 Sep. 2020 Based in Colorado, the program has followed more than 1,000 women since 2009 to assess the impact of prenatal exposures on newborns. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "A newborn's fat mass is associated with obesity as a preschooler, study finds," 13 Aug. 2020 That means September will be the time to assess how things are going. David Meyer, Fortune, "Masks, small classes, and outdoor lessons: How 5 countries in Europe are reopening schools," 10 Aug. 2020 Hwang says that combining that kind of information with what’s known about how disinformation organizations operate is a better way to assess the deepfake threat than considering worst case scenarios. Tom Simonite, Wired, "Cheap, Easy Deepfakes Are Getting Closer to the Real Thing," 5 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for assess

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for assess

Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assess.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for assess


How to pronounce assess (audio)

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 How to pronounce assess (audio) \
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 How to pronounce assess (audio) \

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 How to pronounce assessable (audio) \ adjective
assessment noun

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