assess

verb

as·​sess ə-ˈses How to pronounce assess (audio)
a-
assessed; assessing; assesses

transitive verb

1
: to determine the rate or amount of (something, such as a tax, charge, or fine)
2
a
: to impose (something, such as a tax) according to an established rate
b
: to subject to a tax, charge, or levy
Every homeowner will be assessed a tax according to the value of the property.
3
: to make an official valuation of (property) for the purposes of taxation
Their property is assessed at $200,000.
4
: to determine the importance, size, or value of
assess a problem
assess the damage
5
sports : to charge (a player or team) with a foul or penalty
Choose the Right Synonym for assess

estimate, appraise, evaluate, value, rate, assess mean to judge something with respect to its worth or significance.

estimate implies a judgment, considered or casual, that precedes or takes the place of actual measuring or counting or testing out.

estimated the crowd at two hundred

appraise commonly implies the fixing by an expert of the monetary worth of a thing, but it may be used of any critical judgment.

having their house appraised

evaluate suggests an attempt to determine relative or intrinsic worth in terms other than monetary.

evaluate a student's work

value equals appraise but without implying expertness of judgment.

a watercolor valued by the donor at $500

rate adds to estimate the notion of placing a thing according to a scale of values.

a highly rated restaurant

assess implies a critical appraisal for the purpose of understanding or interpreting, or as a guide in taking action.

officials are trying to assess the damage

Example Sentences

Cornell graduate student James Tanner spent three years in the early 1940s slogging southern swamps and bayous to assess where and how the species could be saved. By his reckoning, no more than twenty-four ivory-bills remained in the entire Southeast. John Terborgh, New York Review of Books, 26 Apr. 2007 When the training staff determined that Everett had no mobility below his neck, Cappuccino was waved onto the field. He performed a quick battery of tests to assess the severity of the injury, squeezing various parts of Everett's body and asking him to respond. Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated, 17 Dec. 2007 Tetlock found that his experts used a double standard: they were much tougher in assessing the validity of information that undercut their theory than they were in crediting information that supported it. Louis Menand, New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2005 Briefly, the way it works is this. Every time a hog is sold, the seller is assessed 40 cents per $100 of sale value to promote the consumption of pork. Warren R. Ross, UU World, Fall 2005 After the hurricane, officials assessed the town's need for aid. We need to assess whether or not the system is working. Damage to the boat was assessed at $5,000. The company was assessed $12 million in fines for polluting the river. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Answer: Saturday is going to need some time to assess the situation before too many changes take place. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Nov. 2022 Doing so would give officials time to assess the impact of the increases. Arkansas Online, 1 Nov. 2022 Doing so would give officials time to assess the impact of the hikes. Christopher Rugaber, Fortune, 31 Oct. 2022 Democrats talked about getting the returns as a way to assess conflicts of interest or his compliance with tax law. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 31 Oct. 2022 If a way to assess hippocampus functioning could be developed, parents and teachers might be able to identify which children still need naps and which don’t. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Oct. 2022 The government has said that the only way to assess this is to allow drilling to start. Christian Edwards, CNN, 20 Oct. 2022 Following the 60-day comment period, Johnson said the DNR would compile and assess the input as well as consult with tribes in the state before releasing a final draft. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 11 Nov. 2022 In some of the affected counties, residents were still able to pay taxes and assess property. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, 10 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assess.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, probably from Medieval Latin assessus, past participle of assidēre, from Latin, to sit beside, assist in the office of a judge — more at assize

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of assess was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near assess

Cite this Entry

“Assess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assess. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

assess

verb

as·​sess ə-ˈses How to pronounce assess (audio)
a-
1
: to set the rate or amount of
the jury assessed damages of $5000
2
: to set a value on (as property) for tax purposes
a house assessed at $163,000
3
: to put a tax or charge on
the city assessed all car owners $25
4
: to find out or decide the importance, size, or value of
assess the problem
assessable adjective

Legal Definition

assess

transitive verb

as·​sess ə-ˈses How to pronounce assess (audio)
1
: to determine the rate or amount of (as a tax)
2
a
: to impose (as a tax) according to an established rate
b
: to subject to a tax, charge, or levy
each property owner was assessed an additional five dollars
3
: to make an official valuation of (property) for the purposes of taxation
assessable adjective
assessment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on assess

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