Ascertain



to find out definitely; learn with certainty or assurance; determine:
to ascertain the facts.
Archaic. to make certain, clear, or definitely known.
Contemporary Examples

“But defense counsel has no comparable obligation to ascertain or present the truth,” White continued.
Don’t Blame the D.A. Raymond Bonner August 25, 2011

The problem is that in most fields, these are hard to ascertain unless you’re pretty prominent.
Even Google Doesn’t Do Interviews Better Megan McArdle June 19, 2013

Tan had been trying to ascertain the names of the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Ai Weiwei’s Last Ordeal April 5, 2011

It was often almost impossible to ascertain the motives of her captors.
A French Hero’s Tale of Survival Eric Pape September 20, 2010

We need a Special Select Committee on Benghazi to ascertain these facts and ensure that such a disaster never occurs again.
Why Democrats Are So Scared of Benghazi Ron Christie May 7, 2014

Historical Examples

The trapper looked about him to ascertain in what situations he might find his friends.
The Prairie J. Fenimore Cooper

All efforts to ascertain your fate proved utterly fruitless.
Philothea Lydia Maria Child

Carley searched her pockets for her goggles, only to ascertain that she had forgotten them.
The Call of the Canyon Zane Grey

They appraised me in their own minds, I saw, and were curious to ascertain what my full value was.
Little Dorrit Charles Dickens

To ascertain how much power has been developed we must know how many foot pounds there are in a horse power.
Motors James Slough Zerbe

verb (transitive)
to determine or discover definitely
(archaic) to make certain
v.

early 15c., “to inform, to give assurance,” from Anglo-French acerteiner, Old French acertener “to assure, certify” (13c.), from a “to” (see ad-) + certain “certain” (see certain). Modern meaning of “find out for sure by experiment or investigation” is first attested 1794. Related: Ascertained; ascertaining.

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