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


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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 classified intelligence assessment of the Taliban largely taking control assumes that the Afghan government and the Taliban fail to reach a political agreement and that a civil war would erupt after the American exit. New York Times, "Officials Try to Sway Biden Using Intelligence on Potential for Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan," 26 Mar. 2021 The new assessment also highlights the success of conservation efforts, according to the IUCN. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, "African elephants now listed as critically endangered after dramatic population declines," 25 Mar. 2021 The 2021 bill deleted the part of the law that introduced the risk assessment and advised judges to impose the least restrictive conditions of release available. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "A look into the last-ditch — and misleading — campaign by Utah’s sheriffs to get bail reform repealed," 25 Mar. 2021 The assessment is also used by some police departments in Waukesha County and elsewhere. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's how some local police help identify domestic violence survivors, and warning signs you should look for," 24 Mar. 2021 Fisheries managers define a tuna stock as overfished when it has been reduced to levels that place its future in jeopardy, Pilling says, and as the stock assessment makes clear, this point has not been reached. Christopher Pollon, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Will Commercial Fishing Pressure Affect Skipjack Tuna?," 23 Mar. 2021 Aviation, drinking water, energy, inland waterways, and ports improved since the last assessment in 2017, while just one category – bridges – went down. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "More than 45,000 bridges rated in poor condition. Biden administration wants to modernize America’s neglected infrastructure.," 22 Mar. 2021 Examining data from two studies, the assessment found that the plant which removed the most CO2 was prayer plant, reducing the substance by 14 percent during a 24-hour period. Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, "Can Houseplants Really Improve Indoor Air Quality?," 22 Mar. 2021 No doubt many other downtown employers are doing the same assessment. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, "Downtown recovery isn't a sure thing post-pandemic," 20 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for assessment

Time Traveler

The first known use of assessment was in 1534

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Statistics for assessment

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Assessment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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