ascertain

[as-er-teyn]
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:
1400–50; late Middle English, variant of assertain, acertain < Middle French acertain- (tonic stem of acertener to make certain), equivalent to a- a-5 + certain certain

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


1. See learn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ascertain (ˌæsəˈteɪn)
 
vb
1.  to determine or discover definitely
2.  archaic to make certain
 
[C15: from Old French acertener to make certain]
 
ascer'tainable
 
adj
 
ascer'tainably
 
adv
 
ascer'tainment
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ascertain
early 15c., "to inform, to give assurance," from O.Fr. acertener "to assure" (13c.), from a "to" + certain "certain" (see certain). Modern meaning of "to find out for sure by experiment or investigation" is first attested 1794.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They then tried to ascertain the subsequent five-year return.
This is not hard to ascertain.
The complete answer to that question is difficult to ascertain.
The number of illegal migrants is by definition hard to ascertain, but likely
  to be smaller than the legal sort.
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