Ascertain As`cer*tain", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Ascertained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Ascertaining}.] [OF. acertener; a (L. ad) + certain. See {Certain}.] 1. To render (a person) certain; to cause to feel certain; to make confident; to assure; to apprise. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

When the blessed Virgin was so ascertained. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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] [1913 Webster]

The divine law . . . ascertaineth the truth. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

The very deferring [of his execution] shall increase and ascertain the condemnation. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

The ministry, in order to ascertain a majority . . . persuaded the queen to create twelve new peers. --Smollett. [1913 Webster]

The mildness and precision of their laws ascertained the rule and measure of taxation. --Gibbon. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

He was there only for the purpose of ascertaining whether a descent on England was practicable. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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