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 Open Technology Fund then requested and funded an assessment of the app by Cure53, a cybersecurity company in Berlin. Raymond Zhong, New York Times, "China Snares Tourists’ Phones in Surveillance Dragnet by Adding Secret App," 2 July 2019 South Dakota Pierre: An assessment of the conditions of the state’s highways and byways following spring storms has pegged damage at $7.5 million. USA TODAY, "Chicago cows, bras for turtles, gold rush: News from around our 50 states," 1 July 2019 The data-obsessed may be quick to embrace such an assessment, but what if an employer has access that information as well? The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Wearable technology started by tracking steps; soon it may allow your boss to track your performance," 29 June 2019 For safety reasons, the TCEQ doesn’t routinely inspect the interior of the gates or do an operational assessment, a spokeswoman said. Josh Baugh,, "Residents of Guadalupe River lakes brace for worst," 22 June 2019 Pompeo's comments came at the unveiling of the State Department's annual report on human trafficking, which includes a list of countries that use underage-troops on the battlefield and an assessment of how countries fight trafficking. NBC News, "Trump admin keeps Saudi Arabia off of child soldiers blacklist," 20 June 2019 Devyn Keith, president of the Huntsville city council, introduced a resolution that passed at Thursday's council meeting calling for the city to do an assessment of the 10,000-seat stadium that opened in 1985 to determine its viability. Paul Gattis |,, "Does rundown Joe Davis Stadium have a useful future?," 17 June 2019 The vote passed by 17 votes (343 yes/326 no) to levy an annual assessment of $1,950 on each property within the district. Helen Williams,, "Timberlane commission stays busy to protect future of country club," 14 June 2019 Stone had an especially harsh assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Anthony Man,, "Roger Stone asserts innocence as he raises cash for living expenses and legal fees. Mum on Robert Mueller.," 11 June 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

5 Jul 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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