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ascertain

[as-er-teyn] /ˌæs ərˈteɪn/
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.
Origin
1400-1450
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 forms
ascertainable, adjective
ascertainably, adverb
ascertainer, noun
ascertainment, noun
nonascertainable, adjective
nonascertainableness, noun
nonascertainably, adverb
nonascertainment, noun
preascertain, verb (used with object)
preascertainment, noun
unascertainable, adjective
unascertainably, adverb
unascertained, adjective
well-ascertained, adjective
Synonym Study
1. See learn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ascertaining
  • Airlines have historically had trouble ascertaining the performance histories of their pilots.
  • The difficulty of ascertaining the truth in history is often confused with the relativity of truth.
  • ascertaining and tabulating the approximate amount and location of land infested with noxious weeds in the county, annually.
  • Skill in ascertaining facts by personal contact, observation and examination of records.
British Dictionary definitions for ascertaining

ascertain

/ˌæsəˈteɪn/
verb (transitive)
1.
to determine or discover definitely
2.
(archaic) to make certain
Derived Forms
ascertainable, adjective
ascertainably, adverb
ascertainment, 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
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Word Origin and History for ascertaining

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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