"judicial inquiry into the character of aspirants for office or citizenship," especially in ancient Athens, 1801, from Greek dokimasia "assay, proving, examination," from stem of dokimazein "to test, prove," from dokimos "proven, genuine," literally "accepted," related to dekhesthai "to take, accept," cognate with Latin decere "to be seemly or fitting" (see decent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper