A woman steps on the scale to ascertain her weight.
An example of ascertain is to step on a scale to determine your correct weight.
- Archaic to make certain or definite
- to find out with certainty
Origin of ascertainMiddle English acertainen ; from Old French acertainer ; from a-, to + certain, certain
transitive verbas·cer·tained, as·cer·tain·ing, as·cer·tains
- To discover with certainty, as through examination or experimentation. See Synonyms at discover.
- Archaic To make certain, definite, and precise.
Origin of ascertainMiddle English acertainen, to inform, from Old French acertener, ascertain- : a-, to (from Latin ad-; see ad–) + certain, certain; see certain.
(third-person singular simple present ascertains, present participle ascertaining, simple past and past participle ascertained)
- Ascertain is a formal-sounding word. In informal contexts, it can sound pretentious and is best replaced with a more informal synonym.
From Old French acertener, from (a- (“to, towards”) + certener (“make sure of”), from the adjective certain.