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 One notable finding is the report’s assessment of the National Guard’s three-hour delay in responding after police were overwhelmed. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 9 June 2021 The pandemic has highlighted the need: As traditional exams were canceled, students were subjected to a variety of ad hoc assessment methods. Connie Foong, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 June 2021 One pharmaceutical customer save thousands of dollars by reducing post-delivery assessment times by up to 72 hours. Susan Galer, Forbes, 8 June 2021 In a 2010 needs assessment survey of the membership of the Society for American Archaeology, 84 percent identified as being Caucasian. Smithsonian Magazine, 8 June 2021 Although the task force’s unclassified assessment is not expected until June 25, the New York Times provided a cursory preview of its contents in an article on June 3. Leonard David, Scientific American, 8 June 2021 Another issue with evaluating treatments is that some assessment scales, including in the aducanumab trials, involve reports from relatives or caregivers, who might miss subtle symptom progression. New York Times, 5 June 2021 The governor also signed into law new boundaries for the Cook County Board of Review whose three members are elected to review tax assessment complaints from property owners. Lisa Donovan,, 4 June 2021 Shanine Salmon, a thirty-three-year-old assessment coördinator in London, runs a theatre blog called View from the Cheap Seat. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 3 June 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.

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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Assessment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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