ascertain

[ as-er-teyn ]
/ ˌæs ərˈteɪn /

verb (used with object)

to find out definitely; learn with certainty or assurance; determine: to ascertain the facts.
Archaic. to make certain, clear, or definitely known.

Nearby words

  1. ascension day,
  2. ascensionist,
  3. ascensiontide,
  4. ascensive,
  5. ascent,
  6. ascertainable,
  7. ascesis,
  8. ascetic,
  9. asceticism,
  10. asch

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 forms

Synonym study

1. See learn.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ascertain


British Dictionary definitions for ascertain

ascertain

/ (ˌæsəˈteɪn) /

verb (tr)

to determine or discover definitely
archaic to make certain
Derived Formsascertainable, adjectiveascertainably, adverbascertainment, noun

Word Origin for ascertain

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 ascertain

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