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 new report predicts slower population growth than the U.N.’s last assessment, released in 2017. Denise Chow, NBC News, "World's population could swell to 10.9 billion by 2100, U.N. report finds," 17 June 2019 Pompeo blamed Iran for the incident, citing intelligence assessments, the weapons used, the level of expertise required and the similarity to other recent attacks. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Pompeo on Iran: US considering range of options including military," 16 June 2019 The banks also collect information on her spending habits which determines risk assessments, mortgage evaluations, loan screening and cross selling of financial products. Sharon Wekwete, Quartz Africa, "As the continent digitizes rapidly, Africans need a bill of data rights to protect them online," 12 June 2019 In a separate research announcement, NASA laid out several requirements that must be met, including a feasibility assessment, before such missions would be allowed. Katia Hetter, CNN, "NASA opens space station to private astronaut missions," 7 June 2019 Other dynamics must be considered when taking a job like this, such as the relationship with the coach and owner; the assessment of their roster and quarterback situation; and their salary-cap picture going forward. Zach Berman,, "Carson Wentz’s status, Eagles who have stood out, Joe Douglas’ future | Early Birds," 5 June 2019 North Shore Bank received a tax bill based on that assessment, for about $8,707. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "North Shore Bank files an $8.7K civil lawsuit against the village of Elm Grove over real estate taxes," 4 June 2019 The old district and its assessments will be abolished, except for an area west of Pomerado Road containing 196 residential units. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Poway Business park landscaping district approved," 3 June 2019 At the Open Labs, vendors will have a chance to submit hardware for assessment, tuning and compliance against the Athena specs. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel unveils Project Athena Open Labs to develop next-gen thin, light, always-connected laptops," 7 May 2019

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

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assessment

The first known use of assessment was in 1534

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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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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