ascertain

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French acertener, from (a- (to, towards) + certener (make sure of), from the adjective certain.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /æsəˈteɪn/
  • (US) enPR: ăs-ər-tānʹ, IPA(key): /æsɚˈteɪn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪn
  • Hyphenation: as‧cer‧tain

Verb[edit]

ascertain (third-person singular simple present ascertains, present participle ascertaining, simple past and past participle ascertained)

  1. To find out definitely; to discover or establish.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 1, The Tremarn Case[1]:
      “There the cause of death was soon ascertained ; the victim of this daring outrage had been stabbed to death from ear to ear with a long, sharp instrument, in shape like an antique stiletto, which […] was subsequently found under the cushions of the hansom. […]”
    As soon as we ascertain what the situation is, we can plan how to proceed.

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