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 This is an investment, with the same types of numbers to crunch and risk assessment to dissect. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Padres chairman: Financial push for Fernando Tatis ‘completely sustainable’," 18 Feb. 2021 The Arizona Department of Education must submit a report on the assessment data in November. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Arizona Gov. Ducey orders study to assess learning loss during pandemic," 18 Feb. 2021 Malwarebytes Mac security researcher Thomas Reed agrees with Wardle's assessment that the adware was not very novel in itself. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Malware Is Now Targeting Apple’s New M1 Processor," 17 Feb. 2021 Last year police officers in North Carolina were fired after posting racist videos, and an FBI threat-assessment report dating back to 2006 expressed alarm about supremacist infiltration of law-enforcement ranks. The Editors, Scientific American, "Stop Domestic Terrorism," 17 Feb. 2021 San Antonio, Texas Eden Prarie management and threat assessment products, to enhance its cybersecurity portfolio. Star Tribune, "Minnesota mergers and acquisitions," 14 Feb. 2021 Ngo’s assessment that antifa poses the most significant risk to the nation’s safety conflicts with those of federal law enforcement officials and experts who study political extremism. oregonlive, "How Portland’s Andy Ngo turned his war with ‘antifa’ into a dubious, best-selling book," 13 Feb. 2021 The Labor Commissioner’s Bureau of Field Enforcement investigated alleged labor law violations by the company after receiving a report on Jan. 14, according to a penalty assessment letter from the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Tatiana Sanchez, San Francisco Chronicle, "Hemp farmworkers in Half Moon Bay say they haven't been paid for 7 weeks," 5 Feb. 2021 In a letter last month to President Biden, Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas and a member of the intelligence committee, backed the administration’s assessment request and asked that the role of foreign adversaries be examined. New York Times, "U.S. Will Examine Giving F.B.I. More Resources to Counter Domestic Extremism," 5 Feb. 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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Assessment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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Comments on assessment

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