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asset

[as-et]
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noun
  1. a useful and desirable thing or quality: Organizational ability is an asset.
  2. a single item of ownership having exchange value.
  3. assets,
    1. items of ownership convertible into cash; total resources of a person or business, as cash, notes and accounts receivable, securities, inventories, goodwill, fixtures, machinery, or real estate (opposed to liabilities).
    2. Accounting.the items detailed on a balance sheet, especially in relation to liabilities and capital.
    3. all property available for the payment of debts, especially of a bankrupt or insolvent firm or person.
    4. Law.property in the hands of an heir, executor, or administrator, that is sufficient to pay the debts or legacies of a deceased person.
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Origin of asset

1525–35; back formation from assets, in phrase have assets, literally, have enough (to pay obligations) < Anglo-French, Old French asez enough. See assai1
Related formsas·set·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for assetless

asset

noun
  1. anything valuable or usefulexperience is their main asset See also assets
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for assetless

asset

n.

see assets.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

assetless in Culture

asset

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

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Note

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.