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 To reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, the Lake Express is requiring passengers to wear face coverings and complete a self-assessment and temperature checks. USA TODAY, "Spiking numbers, opening venues, guarding beaches: News from around our 50 states," 18 June 2020 According to court records, when Cannon has faced felony charges in the past, he has been found to need mental health assessment and treatment. oregonlive, "Man charged with bias crime for second time, both involving TriMet employees," 16 June 2020 To reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, the Lake Express is requiring passengers to wear face coverings, complete a self-assessment and temperature checks. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus decreases, ferry trips across Lake Michigan start for the season," 15 June 2020 Powell’s assessment brought criticism from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow. Christopher Condon,, "Fed chairman will bring a sober message to Capitol Hill on economy," 14 June 2020 This assessment rests on the projection that India among the only two major nations with GDP growth prospects (however slim) in spite of the pandemic. Amit Goyal, Quartz India, "The pandemic-triggered slump is a great opportunity for NRIs to buy homes in India," 14 June 2020 From the beginning, Newman had envisioned treatment as a central pillar of TestUtah’s efforts, along with assessment and testing. Robert P. Baird, The New Yorker, "How Utah’s Tech Industry Tried to Disrupt Coronavirus Testing," 13 June 2020 The Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report in April defending 2017’s assessment and finding no evidence of political pressure to reach a specific conclusion. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Ratcliffe to review House Intel report on Russian election meddling for further declassification," 12 June 2020 The assessment says the Loop's capacity is due to the limited size of the DC Loop station location. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Elon Musk's tunnel project hit a milestone. But the future is unclear.," 12 June 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.

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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

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assessment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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