as·​sess·​ment | \ ə-ˈses-mənt How to pronounce assessment (audio) , a- \

Definition of assessment

1 : the action or an instance of making a judgment about something : the act of assessing something : appraisal assessment of damages an assessment of the president's achievements
2 : the amount assessed : an amount that a person is officially required to pay especially as a tax the tax assessment on property

Synonyms for assessment


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History of Assessment

Assessment has two meanings (“an amount that a person is officially required to pay” and “the act of making a judgment about something”) so distinct that one might rightfully wonder if they come from different sources. They do not.

Both are derived from related senses of assess, a verb that for over 500 years has meant “to determine the rate or amount of (a tax).” The monetary sense of assessment is tied to this oldest use of assess. By the 19th century, the verb’s object shifted slightly to produce a new meaning, “to make an official valuation of (property) for the purposes of taxation.” It was but a short step from here to the broadened sense “to make a judgment about” that is the basis of assessment “the act of making a judgment.”

Examples of assessment in a Sentence

It's a difficult problem that requires careful assessment. I don't agree with his assessment of the problem. The owners claimed the tax assessment on their house was too high.
Recent Examples on the Web The foundation of portfolio assessment is identifying the right app names and their owners. Ritish Puttaparthi, Forbes, 17 May 2022 In 2019 less than half of all 3rd-5th graders demonstrated proficiency as readers on their end of year assessment. Baltimore Sun, 17 May 2022 Rapid7 representatives weren’t available to answer basic questions about the accuracy of that assessment. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 12 May 2022 His legal team contested the accuracy of the medical assessment. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 His legal team contested the accuracy of the medical assessment. Bill Shaikin, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Apr. 2022 The Treasury announced its approval of the loan on July 1, 2020, writing that Yellow provided 68% of the Defense Department’s less-than-truckload shipments — a figure twice the percentage of the Pentagon's assessment of the company's help. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2022 As part of the assessment, the court will consider whether the show’s creators had sources who gave corroborating accounts for their portrayal of West. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Apr. 2022 The private sector jobs tally comes ahead of the government's official assessment of the employment situation that is due Friday. Anneken Tappe, CNN, 30 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of assessment

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assessment

see assess

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Time Traveler for assessment

Time Traveler

The first known use of assessment was in 1534

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Dictionary Entries Near assessment



assessment company

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Statistics for assessment

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Assessment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on assessment

Nglish: Translation of assessment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assessment for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about assessment


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