assess (v.) Look up assess at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to fix the amount (of a tax, fine, etc.)," from Anglo-French assesser, from Medieval Latin assessare "fix a tax upon," originally frequentative of Latin assessus "a sitting by," past participle of assidere "to sit beside" (and thus to assist in the office of a judge), from ad- "to" (see ad-) + sedere "to sit" (see sedentary). 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; transferred sense of "to judge the value of a person, idea, etc." is from 1934. Related: Assessed; assessing.
assessable (adj.) Look up assessable at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from assess + -able.
assessment (n.) Look up assessment at Dictionary.com
1540s, "value of property for tax purposes," from assess + -ment. Meaning "determination or adjustment of tax rate" is from 1540s; general sense of "estimation" is recorded from 1620s. In education jargon from 1956.
assessor (n.) Look up assessor at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French assessor "assistant judge, assessor (in court)" (12c., Modern French assesseur) and directly from Latin assessor "an assistant, aid; an assistant judge," in Late Latin "one who assesses taxes," literally "a sitter-by," agent noun from past participle stem of assidere "to sit beside" (see assess).
asset (n.) Look up asset at Dictionary.com
see assets.
assets (n.) Look up assets at Dictionary.com
1530s, "sufficient estate," from Anglo-French asetz (singular), from Old French assez (11c.) "sufficiency, satisfaction; compensation," noun use of adverb meaning "enough, sufficiently; very much, a great deal," from Vulgar Latin *ad satis "to sufficiency," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + satis "enough" (see sad).

Beginning as a legal term, "sufficient estate" (to satisfy debts and legacies), it passed into general use; meaning "any property that theoretically can be converted to ready money" is from 1580s. Asset is a 19c. artificial singular. Asset stripping attested from 1972.
asseverate (v.) Look up asseverate at Dictionary.com
1791, from Latin asseveratus, past participle of asseverare "to affirm, insist on, maintain," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + severus "serious, severe" (see severe). Related: Asseverated; asseverating.
asseveration (n.) Look up asseveration at Dictionary.com
1550s, from Latin asseverationem (nominative asseveratio) "vehement assertion, protestation," noun of action from past participle stem of asseverare (see asseverate).
asshole (n.) Look up asshole at Dictionary.com
variant of arsehole (also see ass (n.2)). Meaning "contemptible person," mid-1930s.
assiduity (n.) Look up assiduity at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin assiduatem "continual presence," noun of quality from past participle stem of assiduus (see assiduous).
assiduous (adj.) Look up assiduous at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Latin assiduus "attending; continually present, incessant; busy; constant," from assidere "to sit down to" (thus "be constantly occupied" at one's work); from ad "to" (see ad-) + sedere "to sit" (see sedentary). The word acquired a taint of "servility" in 18c. Related: Assiduously; assiduousness.
assiento (n.) Look up assiento at Dictionary.com
1714, "contract between the King of Spain and another power" (especially that made at the Peace of Utrecht, 1713, with Great Britain for furnishing African slaves to the Spanish colonies in the Americas), from Spanish asiento, from asentar "to adjust, settle, establish," literally "to place on a chair," from a sentar, from Latin sedens, present participle of sedere "to sit" (see sedentary).
assign (v.) Look up assign at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Old French assiginer (13c.) "assign, set (a date, etc.); appoint legally; allot," from Latin assignare "to mark out, to allot by sign, assign, award," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + signare "make a sign," from signum "mark" (see sign). Main original use was in English law, in transferences of personal property. General meaning "to fix, settle, determine, appoint" is from c.1300. Related: Assigned; assigning.
assignation (n.) Look up assignation at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "appointment by authority," from Old French assignacion (14c., Modern French assignation), from Latin assignationem (nominative assignatio) "an assigning, allotment," noun of action from past participle stem of assignare (see assign). Meaning "action of legally transfering" (a right or property) is from 1570s; that of "a meeting by arrangement, tryst" is from 1650s.
assignee (n.) Look up assignee at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "one who is appointed to act for another," from Old French assigne, past participle of assignier (see assign).
assignment (n.) Look up assignment at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "order, request, directive," from Old French assignement "(legal) assignment (of dower, etc.)," from Late Latin assignamentum, noun of action from Latin assignare (see assign). Meaning "appointment to office" is mid-15c.; that of "a task assigned" (to someone) is from c.1848.
assimilate (v.) Look up assimilate at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin assimilatus "feigned, pretended, fictitious," past participle of assimilare "to make like," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + simulare "make similar," from similis "like, resembling" (see similar). Originally transitive (with to); intransitive use first recorded 1837. Related: Assimilated; assimilating.
assimilation (n.) Look up assimilation at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "act of assimilating," from Old French assimilacion, from Latin assimilationem (nominative assimilatio) "likeness, similarity," noun of action from past participle stem of assimilare (see assimilate). Psychological sense is from 1855.
assimilationist (n.) Look up assimilationist at Dictionary.com
"one who advocates racial or ethnic integration," 1900, in reference to possible U.S. attitudes toward Hawaii and possessions obtained in the war against Spain; usually with reference to Jews in European nations; see assimilation + -ist.
assist (v.) Look up assist at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French assister "to stand by, help, put, place, assist" (14c.), from Latin assistere "stand by, take a stand near, attend," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + sistere "stand still, take a stand; to set, place, cause to stand," from PIE *si-st-, reduplicated form of root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Related: Assisted; assisting. Medical assisted suicide attested from 1884.
assist (n.) Look up assist at Dictionary.com
1570s, "an act of assistance," from assist (v.). In the sporting sense attested 1877 in baseball, 1925 in ice hockey.
assistance (n.) Look up assistance at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "act of helping or aiding," from Middle French assistance, from assister (see assist (v.)).
assistant (n.) Look up assistant at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., assistent "one who helps or aids another," from Middle French assistent, adjective and noun, properly present participle of assister (see assist (v.)).
assistant (adj.) Look up assistant at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "helpful, of assistance," from Middle French assistent (see assistant (n.)).
assize (n.) Look up assize at Dictionary.com
"session of a law court," c.1300 (attested from mid-12c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French assise "session, sitting of a court" (12c.), properly fem. past participle of asseoir "to cause to sit," from Latin assidere "to sit beside" (see assess). Originally "all legal proceedings of the nature of inquests or recognitions;" hence sessions held periodically in each county of England to administer civil and criminal justice.
associate (v.) Look up associate at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin associatus past participle of associare "join with," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + sociare "unite with," from socius "companion" (see social (adj.)). Related: Associated; associating. Earlier form of the verb was associen (late 14c.), from Old French associier "associate (with)."
associate (n.) Look up associate at Dictionary.com
1530s, from associate (adj.).
associate (adj.) Look up associate at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "allied, connected, paired," from Latin associatus, past participle of associare (see associate (v.)).
association (n.) Look up association at Dictionary.com
1530s, "action of coming together," from Medieval Latin associationem (nominative associatio), noun of action from past participle stem of associare (see associate). Meaning "a body of persons with a common purpose" is from 1650s. Meaning "mental connection" is from 1680s; that of "quality or thing called to mind by something else" is from 1810.
associative (adj.) Look up associative at Dictionary.com
1812, from associate (v.) + -ive.
assonance (n.) Look up assonance at Dictionary.com
1727, "resemblance of sounds between words," from French assonance, from assonant, from Latin assonantem (nominative assonans), present participle of assonare "to resound, respond to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + sonare "to sound" (see sonata). Properly, in prosody, "rhyming of accented vowels, but not consonants" (1823).
assort (v.) Look up assort at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "to distribute into groups," from Middle French assortir (15c.), from Old French assorter "to assort, match," from a- "to" (see ad-) + sorte "kind" (see sort). Related: Assorted; assorting.
assorted (adj.) Look up assorted at Dictionary.com
"arranged in sorts," 1797, past participle adjective from assort (v.).
assortment (n.) Look up assortment at Dictionary.com
1610s, "action of assorting," from assort + -ment. Sense of "group of things of the same sort" is attested from 1759; that of "group of things whether the same sort or not" from 1791.
assuage (v.) Look up assuage at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Anglo-French assuager, Old French assoagier "soften, moderate, alleviate, calm, soothe, pacify," from Vulgar Latin *adsuaviare, from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + suavis "sweet, agreeable" (see sweet (adj.)). For sound development in French, compare deluge from Latin diluvium, abridge from abbreviare. Related: Assuaged; assuaging.
assuasive (adj.) Look up assuasive at Dictionary.com
1708, probably from assume on model of persuasive, etc.
assumable (adj.) Look up assumable at Dictionary.com
1780 (re-assumable is from 1724), from assume + -able. Related: Assumably; assumability.
assume (v.) Look up assume at Dictionary.com
early 15c., assumpten "to receive up into heaven" (especially of the Virgin Mary), also assumen "to arrogate," from Latin assumere, adsumere "to take up, take to oneself, take besides, obtain in addition," from ad- "to, up" (see ad-) + sumere "to take," from sub "under" (see sub-) + emere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)).

Meaning "to suppose, to take for granted as the basis of argument" is first recorded 1590s; that of "to take or put on (an appearance, etc.)" is from c.1600. Related: Assumed; assuming. Early past participle was assumpt. In rhetorical usage, assume expresses what the assumer postulates, often as a confessed hypothesis; presume expresses what the presumer really believes.
assumption (n.) Look up assumption at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "the reception, uncorrupted, of the Virgin Mary into Heaven," also the Church festival (Aug. 15) commemorating this, Feast of the Assumption, from Old French assumpcion and directly from Latin assumptionem (nominative assumptio) "a taking, receiving," noun of action from past participle stem of assumere "take up, take to oneself" (see assume).

Meaning "minor premise of a syllogism" is late 14c. Meaning "appropriation of a right or possession" is mid-15c. Meaning "action of taking for oneself" is recorded from 1580s; that of "something taken for granted" is from 1620s.
assumptive (adj.) Look up assumptive at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin assumptivus, from assumpt-, past participle stem of assumere "take up, take to oneself" (see assume) + -ive.
assurance (n.) Look up assurance at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "formal or solemn pledge, promise," also "certainty," from Old French asseurance (11c., Modern French assurance) "assurance, promise; truce; certainty, safety, security," from asseurer (see assure). The word had a negative tinge 18c., often suggesting impudence or presumption.
assure (v.) Look up assure at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French asseurer (12c., Modern French assurer) "to reassure, calm, protect, to render sure," from Vulgar Latin *assecurar, from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + securus "safe, secure" (see secure (adj.)). Related: Assured; assuring.
assured (adj.) Look up assured at Dictionary.com
of persons, "confident, self-assured," late 14c., past participle adjective from assure. Related: Assuredly; assuredness.
Assyria Look up Assyria at Dictionary.com
Middle English, from Latin Assyria, from Greek Assyria, short for Assyria ge "the Assyrian land," from fem. of Assyrios "pertaining to Assyria," from Akkadian Ashshur, name of the chief city of the kingdom and also of a god, probably from Assyrian sar "prince." (See also Syria).
Assyriology (n.) Look up Assyriology at Dictionary.com
1846, from Assyria + -ology. Related: Assyriologist.
Astarte Look up Astarte at Dictionary.com
Phoenician goddess identified with Greek Aphrodite, from Greek Astarte, from Phoenician Astoreth.
astatic (adj.) Look up astatic at Dictionary.com
1827, from Greek astatos "unstable, not steadfast," from a-, privative prefix (see a- (3)), + statos "placed, standing," from PIE root *sta- (see stet).
astatine (n.) Look up astatine at Dictionary.com
radioactive element, named 1947, from Greek astatos "unstable" (see astatic) + chemical suffix -ine (2). So called for its short half-life and lack of stable isotopes. "The element appears not to have a stable form and probably does not exist in nature" [Flood, "Origin of Chemical Names"].
asteism (n.) Look up asteism at Dictionary.com
"genteel irony, polite mockery," 1580s, from Greek asteismos "wit, witticism," from asteios "of a city or town" (as opposed to "country"), from asty "town, city," especially (without the article) "Athens."
aster (n.) Look up aster at Dictionary.com
flower genus, 1706, from Latin aster "star" (see star (n.)); so called for the radiate heads of the flowers. Originally used in English in the Latin sense (c.1600) but this is obsolete.