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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for assessment


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In a joint appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the Fed chair, Jerome Powell, offered a stark assessment of the fragile state of the economy. Jeanna Smialek,, "Mnuchin and Powell warn of economic scarring, and offer divergent solutions," 19 May 2020 The fundamental obstacle to coming up with a damage assessment for corporate balance sheets is that nobody knows how long the crisis will continue, leaving any prediction based on much guesswork. Lorcan Roche Kelly,, "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day," 18 May 2020 Then, in Year 5, UC would move toward a standardized assessment developed specifically for the 10-campus system. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, "SAT should be suspended for UC admissions, Napolitano says," 11 May 2020 Before each shift, employees will need complete a health assessment. Andrea Perez Balderrama, Detroit Free Press, "Starbucks reopening amid COVID-19 pandemic: What to know," 5 May 2020 Those who believe the Wonderlic test is a poor assessment tool for NFL quarterbacks often point to players like Dan Marino, who only scored a 15 on the test but went on to become a Hall of Famer. Joshua D. Pitts, The Conversation, "Can an intelligence test forecast which quarterback draft prospects will have NFL success?," 22 Apr. 2020 For the first time, candidates will need to take a two-hour online assessment in addition to meeting the basic requirements of being a U.S. citizen and holding a master’s degree in a STEM field. Dana Dovey, Marie Claire, "Why Is Space Still So White?," 16 Apr. 2020 Now, the policy is that the first person to get into the room makes the assessment. Joshua Kaplan, ProPublica, "Rationing Protective Gear Means Checking on Coronavirus Patients Less Often. This Can Be Deadly.," 10 Apr. 2020 For payload specific loads or rideshare loads assessments, contact Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX's Starship Can Lift a Lot More Than We Thought," 6 Apr. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of assessment

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assessment

see assess

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about assessment

Time Traveler for assessment

Time Traveler

The first known use of assessment was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Statistics for assessment

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assessment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on assessment

What made you want to look up assessment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!