assessment

noun
as·sess·ment | \ ə-ˈses-mənt , 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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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

Neuropsychological assessments are a specialized form of psychological testing that sees how certain neurological conditions affect mental health and the nervous system. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville People in the News," 13 July 2018 Interior Department staffers also pushed back on efforts by political appointees to put federal land up for auction before scientific assessments on the potential damage drilling could inflict on wildlife were finished. Zack Colman, Scientific American, "A Trump Oil Boom Could Transform This Rocky Mountain Landscape," 13 July 2018 The Baker Act is a temporary custody status for assessment. David Fleshler, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Stoneman Douglas investigators criticize Florida's limitations in treating mentally ill," 12 July 2018 In a statement to press, the State Department suggested that some of those returning for medical assessments may have issues unrelated to the puzzling sound incidents. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Brain injury, sound-attack fears spread in China as more Americans evacuated," 2 July 2018 In terms of on the field matters, the first-team squad is set to report in on Wednesday for assessment before jetting off to Portugal for a pre-season training camp. SI.com, "Aston Villa's New Management Structure Set to Be Investigated by Football League," 1 July 2018 The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive assessments about a country that has long been one of the most difficult targets for spy agencies to penetrate. Author: Ellen Nakashima, Joby Warrick, Anchorage Daily News, "North Korea plotting to keep arsenal, U.S. intelligence officials say," 1 July 2018 In the 45 years since the Goldwater rule was adopted, substantial multidisciplinary research has cast serious doubt on the primacy and necessity of an in-person interview as the sole basis for assessment in all circumstances. Leonard L. Glass, STAT, "The Goldwater rule is broken. Here’s how to fix it," 28 June 2018 Trump’s behavior in office has borne out all these assessments, yet their authors now grovel before him. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The GOP Is Trump’s Personality Cult. Could Democrats Do the Same?," 27 June 2018

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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Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for assessment

The first known use of assessment was in 1534

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