[ as-et ]
See synonyms for: assetassets on

  1. a useful and desirable thing or quality: Organizational ability is an asset.

  2. a single item of ownership having exchange value: Our summer home is an asset we're not willing to sell.

  1. (in intelligence) a person followed or spied upon to obtain information: as a participant in an operation, an asset may be consenting, forced, as by blackmail, or unaware of being used: It was a catalog of virtually every CIA asset within the Soviet Union.: Compare confidential informant.

  2. Digital Technology. one of the media components that, taken together, comprise all of the elements of a video game, such as the environments, objects, character art and animation, and sound design: All of the game assets are downloaded to your hard drive during the install, so slow load times are local and indicate a problem with your drive.

  3. assets. See entry at assets.

Origin of asset

First recorded in 1525–35; back formation from assets, in phrase have assets, literally, “have enough (to pay obligations),” from Anglo-French, Old French asez “enough,” from unattested Vulgar Latin ad satis “to sufficiency”; see also assai1

Other words from asset

  • as·set·less, adjective

Words Nearby asset Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use asset in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for asset


/ (ˈæsɛt) /

  1. anything valuable or useful: experience is their main asset See also assets

Origin of asset

C19: back formation from assets

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

Cultural definitions for asset


A possession that can be turned into cash to cover liabilities.

Notes for asset

Commonly, the term denotes anything of value.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.