verb (used with object)
to estimate officially the value of (property, income, etc.) as a basis for taxation.
to fix or determine the amount of (damages, a tax, a fine, etc.): The hurricane damage was assessed at six million dollars.
to impose a tax or other charge on.
to estimate or judge the value, character, etc., of; evaluate: to assess one's efforts.

1400–50; late Middle English assessen < Medieval Latin assessāre to assess a tax, derivative of Latin assēssus seated beside (a judge) (past participle of assidēre), equivalent to as- as- + sed- (stem of sedēre to sit) + -tus past participle suffix

assessable, adjective
overassess, verb (used with object)
reassess, verb (used with object)
unassessable, adjective
unassessed, adjective
well-assessed, adjective

1. access, assess, excess ; 2. accessible, assessable.

2. appraise, adjust. 4. appraise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
assess (əˈsɛs)
1.  to judge the worth, importance, etc, of; evaluate
2.  (foll by at) to estimate the value of (income, property, etc) for taxation purposes: the estate was assessed at three thousand pounds
3.  to determine the amount of (a fine, tax, damages, etc)
4.  to impose a tax, fine, etc, on (a person or property)
[C15: from Old French assesser, from Latin assidēre to sit beside, from sedēre to sit]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 15c., "to fix the amount (of a tax, fine, etc.)," from Anglo-Fr. assesser, from M.L. assessare "fix a tax upon," originally frequentative of L. assessus, pp. of assidere "to sit beside" (and thus to assist in the office of a judge), from ad- "to" + sedere "to sit." One of the judge's assistant's
jobs was to fix the amount of a fine or tax. Meaning "to estimate the value of property for the purpose of taxing it" is from 1809; transf. sense of "to judge the value of a person, idea, etc." is from 1934.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
First we need to assess how much damage has been done to the building.
Give yourself a few days to assess your finances and your job prospects.
In some instances, the graders will assess a few initial assignments and return
  them for the professor's approval.
They work their socks off trying to give sensible credit ratings to every
  financial instrument they are asked to assess.
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