The Meaning of Assess: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of assess? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word assess, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word assess mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the digital edition of the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word assess is a verb that means to estimate or perform an evaluation on. Sometimes, this is done for the purposes of taxation, to evaluate what needs fixing, or to award something based on merit. One can add the suffixes ble and ing to the end of the word assess to make the related forms of the adjective assessable (adj.) and assessing (v.). Assess is two syllables – as-sess, and the pronunciation of assess is əˈsɛs.

Many different languages also contain words that mean assess. You may notice that many of these words look similar to the word assess. These are called cognates, which are words that look, sound, and mean similar things across different languages. These are often formed when two words or languages share a common origin or ancestral language, such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word assess is provided by Word Sense, and you can also find translations in a Spanish Dictionary, German Dictionary, or Italian Dictionary 1st edition. 

  •  Czech: ohodnotit‎, ocenit‎
  •  Arabic: يُقَدِّر‎ (imperfective)
  •  Finnish: arvioida‎, määrittää‎
  •  Irish: measúnaigh‎
  •  French: estimer‎, évaluer‎
  •  Slovak: oceniť‎, ohodnotiť‎, zhodnotiť‎
  •  Turkish: değerlendirme‎
  •  Spanish: evaluar‎, estimar‎
  •  Occitan: evaluar‎, estimar‎
  •  Portuguese: estimar‎, avaliar‎
  •  German: schätzen‎, bewerten‎, einschätzen‎, beurteilen‎
  •  Bulgarian: оценявам‎
  •  Catalan: avaluar‎
  •  Maori: aromatawai‎
  •  Italian: valutare‎, stimare‎, estimare‎
  •  Dutch: beoordelen‎, evalueren‎
  •  Russian: определя́ть‎ (impf), определи́ть‎ (pf), оце́нивать‎ (impf), оцени́ть‎ (pf)
  •  Ottoman Turkish: yakdir etmek‎

It may seem daunting to learn a new language3 at first, but it becomes easier every day. See if you can take this challenge and figure out what language each of the below words are in and what they mean!

cómo valora sus posibilidades ahora beoordeel يُقَدِّر  進行估價 es gravar schätzen accertare l’imponibile di stimare 査定する 사정 cómo evaluó gen auf asses acc likne wyliczyć ind tus romans avaliar ohodnotit este candidato beraam univ festsetzen scol szacować taksere valutare evaluar  估定

What is the origin of the word assess?

According to Etymonline, the word assess has been used since the c15 Late Middle English. This word comes from the Middle French assesser and  Old French assesser as well as the  Latin assidēre (past participle of assidere) Medieval Latin assessāre and Medieval Latin sedēre (stem of sedēre), form the Latin assessus and  Latin assidere. These are from the Latin sedēo/sedeō, derivative of Latin assessor assessor. This word is from Indo-European roots.

What are synonyms and antonyms of assess?

There are a vast collection of words that can be used in place of the word assess. These are known as a synonyms or synonym estimate in natural sounding English. Synonyms are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to grow your vocabulary as well as if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word assess is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  evaluate
  •  probe
  •  assay
  •  compute
  •  rate
  •  value
  •  measure
  •  consider
  •  valuate
  •  calculate
  •  appreciate
  •  analyse
  •  explore
  •  appraise
  •  ascertain
  •  weigh
  •  inspect
  •  survey
  •  scrutinize
  •  determine
  •  quantify
  •  count
  •  reckon
  •  investigate
  •  examine
  •  trial
  •  tax
  •  try out
  •  audit
  •  analyze
  •  establish
  •  grade
  •  check
  •  review
  •  weigh up
  •  check out
  •  estimate
  •  charge
  •  price
  •  mark
  •  judge
  •  test
  •  adjudge
  •  guesstimate
  •  impose
  •  study
  •  assize
  •  size up
  •  deem
  •  gauge
  •  valuation

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word assess. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are also useful to know if you are trying to improve your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word assess is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  muse
  •  imagine
  •  hypothecate
  •  drop the ball
  •  make a blunder
  •  reward
  •  moot
  •  conjecture
  •  formulate a theory
  •  make suppositions
  •  avert one’s gaze
  •  recompense
  •  form a theory
  •  make guesses
  •  turn from
  •  ignore
  •  neglect
  •  uniting
  •  assist
  •  assume
  •  think
  •  undervalue
  •  speculate
  •  unblemished
  •  hypothesize
  •  take as a hypothesis
  •  propose
  •  guess
  •  slack
  •  compensate
  •  make an error
  •  uneducated
  •  philosophize
  •  wonder
  •  disregard
  •  look away
  •  help
  •  melt
  •  suppose
  •  runny
  •  subsidize
  •  say
  •  receive feedback
  •  theorize
  •  form theories
  •  table
  •  surmise
  •  postulate
  •  let’s say
  •  posit

How can the word assess be used in a sentence?

Using a word in a sentence is a great way to learn its definition. You could also try making flashcards or a quiz to test your knowledge of new lingo and new words. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several different examples of using the word assess in a sentence to help get you started.

The teacher assessed the student who wanted to get into Princeton University on her grades, SAT essays, academic performance, and the way she could grade tests and mark homework in student learning academic program. The teacher decided to express approval and praise. 

She assessed the works of modern art for the grant proposal.

They assessed the child’s motor skills to see if he had autism or an equivalent  delay or backup.

He assessed the overdue accounts for the quantities of late fee.

The referee assessed the play and called for an infraction with subsequent punishment. The coach hated that judgment call, and called the referee a dolt and a donkey.

The Washington Post was assessed for moral censorship. Thile they said it was a security situation, many found that they would pass judgment on critical opinion pieces and not publish them.

He had to assess the amount of tax money he owed based on his amount of compensation for the year. He made a special payment so they could not demand payment or levy tax later on.

Overall, the 15th century word assess means to evaluate. This can be used for taxation purposes by the tax department to calculate a tax return, by an assistant judge to gauge a punishment, or in many other different forms of an entity for many different reasons. The word assess comes from the past participle of assidēre.


  1. Assess definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. assess: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. Assess antonyms – 66 Opposites of Assess | Power Thesaurus 
  4. assess | Origin and meaning of assess | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Assess synonyms – 1 188 Words and Phrases for Assess | Power Thesaurus