Asset Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

Looking for information on the meaning of asset? If so, you’re in the right place! Read on to discover everything you need to know about asset.

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Across the English language, there are several interesting words. Take “asset,” for example — although it may appear small when written and tiny when spoken, the term asset has an arguably big and mighty meaning. 

Interested in learning more? We can help. Read on to discover everything you need to know about the term asset, including its definition, origin, synonyms, and antonyms. 

What Is the Definition of Asset?

An asset can mean anything useful or valuable that someone possesses or owns. Looking deeper, however, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an asset can be defined as something valuable that belongs to an organization or person that may be used to pay debts. 

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary and the many other English Dictionaries, the meaning of asset can reference a few things. To clear up some confusion, we have compiled a list of the most well-used meanings of asset:

  • When used in the realm of law, asset refers to the property of a deceased individual, which can be used in the payments of legacies and debts.
  • Liquid assets are money or items that can quickly be exchanged into money.
  • In accounting, the word asset is defined as every single entry on a balance sheet that shows the entirety of a business or person’s resources. This is to always include all things intangible and tangible — meaning all accounts and notes receivable, equipment, real estate, goodwill, cash, and inventory.
  • Alternatively, an asset can also reference a spy working in their own country while being controlled by the enemy. Assets can be defined as anything that proves useful to defeat an enemy, most commonly in the form of a piece of military equipment.

So while the word “asset” may have a few slightly varying definitions, the key takeaway is that an “asset” is a resource with economic value.

What Is the Origin of Asset?

The noun asset was first used in the 1530s, deriving from the Anglo-French assetz or the singular version asetz. Going further back, asset also derives from the Old French asez meaning “enough,” also from the Vulgar Latin ad satis.

Asset was first used as a legal word, holding the definition of “sufficient estate.” By the 1580s, it was known more generally, loosely referring to any property that could be converted to money.

What Are Different Types of Assets?

As we learn more and more about the meaning behind the word asset, we see that there are numerous ways that one can categorize assets. More often than not, an asset is generally classified by how quickly it can be converted into actual cash, its purpose and use, and its non-physical and physical presence.

Below you will find a brief breakdown of the key types of assets:

  • Tangible assets — Actual property; for example, machinery, inventory, or physically tangible furniture.
  • Intangible assets — Goods that only exist theoretically; a few examples are patents, brand reputation, permits, trademarks, or even intellectual property, all of which have their value elevated through each one’s successful application.
  • Fixed assets — These can also be called long-term assets or hard assets; used about assets that may take an extended time to earn actual cash value.
  • Current assets — These can be converted into currency and can quickly be sold off, also referred to as highly liquid assets.
  • Operating assets — Assets that yield revenue through the day to day operations of a business; examples include inventory, licenses as well as copyrights.
  • Non-operating assets — Any asset that is business owned however it is not needed for the day to day functions, such as short term investments and vacant land.

Synonyms, Antonyms, and Associated Terms

To help further your understanding of “asset,” we’ve compiled a list of our word of the day’s synonyms and antonyms for you to study. 

We’ve also gathered some associated terms that you’ll likely come across as you continue your research in the term asset. The synonyms and antonyms below are provided in part by Power Thesaurus


  • Benefit
  • Spy
  • Economic Benefit
  • Sleuth 
  • Worldly goods
  • Deep pockets
  • Feather in cap
  • Favor
  • Plus point
  • Redeeming feature
  • Selling point
  • Saving grace
  • Selling point
  • Ace in the hole


  • Debt
  • Washout
  • Liabilities 
  • Leftovers 
  • Unwanted items
  • Weak point
  • Financial obligation
  • Misery
  • Bad fortune
  • Letdown 
  • Shortfall
  • Squandering
  • Secondhand goods
  • Hurdle
  • Liability
  • Burden
  • Chink in your armor
  • Hindrance
  • Achilles heel

Associated Terms:

  • Net assets
  • Asset management
  • Capital assets
  • Economic value
  • Financial assets
  • Exchange value
  • Valuable assets
  • Economic benefit
  • Long-term assets

Examples of the Word Asset Used in a Sentence

Now that you know just about everything that there is to know about the term “asset,” it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice; quiz yourself to see how many sentences you can come up with using the term asset. 

Still need some help? Check out our usage examples listed below: 

According to my boss, I’m a great asset to the company.

We had a meeting to review the company’s assets this morning.

My client’s current assets include cash and cash equivalents.

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) has a pretty lengthy definition for the term asset, but in short, it’s a useful or valuable person, thing, or quality. 


An asset could reference a multitude of things, from a piece of equipment to an ability you possess, a piece of property one may own, or it can even reference the quality of another.

To sum it all up, an asset is anything you have that is positive.


  1. Asset synonyms Words and Phrases for Asset | Power Thesaurus
  2. What is the opposite of an asset? | Word Hippo
  3. Asset definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  4. ASSET definition | The Cambridge English Dictionary