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

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Synonyms for assessment


duty, imposition, impost, levy, tax

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Conference Board on Tuesday said its index of U.S. consumer confidence, based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, increased to 129.2 in April from 124.2 in March. David Harrison, WSJ, "U.S. Consumer Confidence Climbed in April," 30 Apr. 2019 Kim says that there were conflicting assessments from doctors and that Kanye has once again accepted the bipolar diagnosis. Jonathan Van Meter, Vogue, "The Awakening of Kim Kardashian West," 10 Apr. 2019 Margaret Weitekamp, curator of the space history department at the Smithsonian National Air Space Museum, echoes Gates’ assessment. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "When Pan Am Promised To Fly Us To the Moon," 28 Feb. 2019 That assessment is especially true of Donald Trump, a man whose entire personality seems clumsily cobbled together out of flaw after flaw. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why It's Impossible to Be a Likeable Female Politician," 11 Jan. 2019 If a particular news story is reported as false by many people, Facebook employees will look at it and determine if that assessment is accurate. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Facebook Has a Secret 'Trustworthiness Score' For Users," 21 Aug. 2018 But the initial assessment from the scout on Jones was of a player with emerging skills that will translate beyond summer league. Ira Winderman,, "For Heat's Derrick Jones a case of 'the Miami system working its magic'," 6 July 2018 In its annual assessment of the U.S. economy, the IMF says growth will hit 2.9 percent this year and 2.7 percent next year. Martin Crutsinger, USA TODAY, "IMF: Tax cuts boosting US now but will hurt growth later," 14 June 2018 Government agencies were conducting damage assessments and beginning to clear roads, according to the Pacific Daily News. Fox News, "Philippines starts evacuations as powerful typhoon closes in," 13 Sep. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of assessment

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assessment

see assess

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Statistics for assessment

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assessment

The first known use of assessment was in 1534

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