Ascertain As`cer*tain", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Ascertained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Ascertaining}.] [OF. acertener; a (L. ad) + certain. See {Certain}.] 1. To render (a person) certain; to cause to feel certain; to make confident; to assure; to apprise. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

When the blessed Virgin was so ascertained. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

Muncer assured them that the design was approved of by Heaven, and that the Almighty had in a dream ascertained him of its effects. --Robertson. [1913 Webster]

2. To make (a thing) certain to the mind; to free from obscurity, doubt, or change; to make sure of; to fix; to determine. [Archaic] [1913 Webster]

The divine law . . . ascertaineth the truth. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

The very deferring [of his execution] shall increase and ascertain the condemnation. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

The ministry, in order to ascertain a majority . . . persuaded the queen to create twelve new peers. --Smollett. [1913 Webster]

The mildness and precision of their laws ascertained the rule and measure of taxation. --Gibbon. [1913 Webster]

3. To find out or learn for a certainty, by trial, examination, or experiment; to get to know; as, to ascertain the weight of a commodity, or the purity of a metal. [1913 Webster]

He was there only for the purpose of ascertaining whether a descent on England was practicable. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • ascertain — I verb acquire information, acquire intelligence about, adjudge, arrive at a conclusion, assure oneself, become acquainted with, certify, clear from obscurity, clear of doubt, clear of obscurity, cognoscere, come to a conclusion, come to know,… …   Law dictionary

  • ascertain — (v.) early 15c., to inform, to give assurance, from Anglo Fr. acerteiner, O.Fr. acertener to assure, certify (13c.), from a to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + certain certain (see CERTAIN (Cf. certain)). Modern meaning of find out for sure by experiment or… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ascertain — determine, *discover, unearth, learn Analogous words: inquire, query, interrogate, *ask: study, contemplate, weigh, *consider: observe, survey (see SEE) Contrasted words: *conjecture, surmise, guess: presume, assume (see …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • ascertain — [v] make sure catch on, check, check out*, check up on*, confirm, determine, dig*, discover, divine, double check*, establish, eye*, eyeball*, find out, fix, get down cold*, get down pat*, get hold of*, get it down*, get the hang of*, identify,… …   New thesaurus

  • ascertain — ► VERB ▪ find out for certain. DERIVATIVES ascertainable adjective ascertainment noun. ORIGIN Old French acertener, from Latin certus settled, sure …   English terms dictionary

  • ascertain — [as΄ər tān′] vt. [ME acertainen < OFr acertainer < a , to + certain, CERTAIN] 1. Archaic to make certain or definite 2. to find out with certainty SYN. LEARN ascertainable adj. ascertainment n …   English World dictionary

  • ascertain */ — UK [ˌæsə(r)ˈteɪn] / US [ˌæsərˈteɪn] verb [intransitive/transitive] Word forms ascertain : present tense I/you/we/they ascertain he/she/it ascertains present participle ascertaining past tense ascertained past participle ascertained formal to find …   English dictionary

  • ascertain — as|cer|tain [ ,æsər teın ] verb intransitive or transitive FORMAL * to find out something: I am simply trying to ascertain the facts of the case. ascertain whether/what/how etc.: We need to ascertain whether the project is feasible. ascertain… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • ascertain — as|cer|tain [ˌæsəˈteın US ˌæsər ] v [I and T] [Date: 1500 1600; : Old French; Origin: acertainer, from certain] formal to find out something ▪ A postmortem was ordered to try to ascertain the cause of death. ascertain whether/what/how etc ▪ Tests …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ascertain — [[t]æ̱sə(r)te͟ɪn[/t]] ascertains, ascertaining, ascertained VERB If you ascertain the truth about something, you find out what it is, especially by making a deliberate effort to do so. [FORMAL] [V n] Through doing this, the teacher will be able… …   English dictionary

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