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ascertain

[as-er-teyn]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to find out definitely; learn with certainty or assurance; determine: to ascertain the facts.
  2. Archaic. to make certain, clear, or definitely known.

Origin of ascertain

1400–50; late Middle English, variant of assertain, acertain < Middle French acertain- (tonic stem of acertener to make certain), equivalent to a- a-5 + certain certain
Related formsas·cer·tain·a·ble, adjectiveas·cer·tain·a·bly, adverbas·cer·tain·er, nounas·cer·tain·ment, nounnon·as·cer·tain·a·ble, adjectivenon·as·cer·tain·a·ble·ness, nounnon·as·cer·tain·a·bly, adverbnon·as·cer·tain·ment, nounpre·as·cer·tain, verb (used with object)pre·as·cer·tain·ment, nounun·as·cer·tain·a·ble, adjectiveun·as·cer·tain·a·bly, adverbun·as·cer·tained, adjectivewell-as·cer·tained, adjective

Synonym study

1. See learn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ascertainable

Historical Examples

  • If any name was given to the anterior family it is not now ascertainable.

    Ancient Society

    Lewis Henry Morgan

  • Precisely when Herrick was invested with holy orders is not ascertainable.

    Ponkapog Papers

    Thomas Bailey Aldrich

  • Hence, for the post from Quebec to Montreal no legal rate was ascertainable.

  • In a majority of cases such reasons are, to a great extent, ascertainable.

    How to Observe

    Harriet Martineau

  • Hence, its laws should be founded on the highest views of the divine will ascertainable.


British Dictionary definitions for ascertainable

ascertain

verb (tr)
  1. to determine or discover definitely
  2. archaic to make certain
Derived Formsascertainable, adjectiveascertainably, adverbascertainment, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Old French acertener to make certain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ascertainable

adj.

1783, from ascertain + -able. Related: Ascertainably.

ascertain

v.

early 15c., "to inform, to give assurance," from Anglo-French acerteiner, Old French acertener "to assure, certify" (13c.), from a "to" (see ad-) + certain "certain" (see certain). Modern meaning of "find out for sure by experiment or investigation" is first attested 1794. Related: Ascertained; ascertaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper