As·cer·tain v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ascertained p. pr. & vb. n. Ascertaining.]
1. To render (a person) certain; to cause to feel certain; to make confident; to assure; to apprise. [Obs.]
When the blessed Virgin was so ascertained. --Jer. Taylor.
Muncer assured them that the design was approved of by Heaven, and that the Almighty had in a dream ascertained him of its effects. --Robertson.
2. To make (a thing) certain to the mind; to free from obscurity, doubt, or change; to make sure of; to fix; to determine. [Archaic]
The divine law . . . ascertaineth the truth. --Hooker.
The very deferring [of his execution] shall increase and ascertain the condemnation. --Jer. Taylor.
The ministry, in order to ascertain a majority . . . persuaded the queen to create twelve new peers. --Smollett.
The mildness and precision of their laws ascertained the rule and measure of taxation. --Gibbon.
3. To find out or learn for a certainty, by trial, examination, or experiment; to get to know; as, to ascertain the weight of a commodity, or the purity of a metal.
He was there only for the purpose of ascertaining whether a descent on England was practicable. --Macaulay.
v 1: after a calculation, investigation, experiment, survey, or
study; "find the product of two numbers"; "The physicist
who found the elusive particle won the Nobel Prize"
[syn: determine, find, find out]
2: be careful or certain to do something; make certain of
something; "He verified that the valves were closed"; "See
that the curtains are closed"; "control the quality of the
product" [syn: see, check, insure, see to it, ensure,
3: find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by
making an inquiry or other effort; "I want to see whether
she speaks French"; "See whether it works"; "find out if
he speaks Russian"; "Check whether the train leaves on
time" [syn: determine, check, find out, see, watch,
4: learn or discover with certainty