From Middle English assessen, from Old French assesser, from Medieval Latin assessare, originally the frequentative of Latin assessus, past participle of assidēre, from ad (to, towards, at) + sedeō (sit; settle down). Cognate with Spanish asentar (to settle).


  • IPA(key): /əˈsɛs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛs


assess (third-person singular simple present assesses, present participle assessing, simple past and past participle assessed)

  1. (transitive) To determine, estimate or judge the value of; to evaluate
    He assessed the situation.
  2. (transitive) To impose or charge, especially as punishment for an infraction.
    The referee assessed a penalty for delaying the game.
    A $10.00 late fee will be assessed on all overdue accounts.
  3. (transitive) To calculate and demand (the tax money due) from a person or entity.
    Once you've submitted a tax return, the Tax Department will assess the amount of tax you still owe.

Derived termsEdit