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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.
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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 unascertained

Historical Examples

  • It is regarded as a binary of long and as yet unascertained period.

    Pleasures of the telescope

    Garrett Serviss

  • To which of these classes the Loucheux belongs, has hitherto been unascertained.

    Opuscula

    Robert Gordon Latham

  • Revenge, he had called it, and called it still, for unascertained and undefined injuries.

    Command

    William McFee

  • Thus the conditions under which the scryer can scry, are, as yet, unascertained.

  • There was no regularly organized militia there; only a few independent companies of doubtful, or unascertained, loyalty.

    Campfire and Battlefield

    Rossiter Johnson


British Dictionary definitions for unascertained

ascertain

verb (tr)
  1. to determine or discover definitely
  2. archaic to make certain
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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 unascertained

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper