assess (v.)
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.)
mid-15c., from assess + -able.
assessment (n.)
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.)
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 (see assess).
asset (n.)
see assets.
assets (n.)
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.)
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.)
1550s, from Latin asseverationem (nominative asseveratio) "vehement assertion, protestation," noun of action from past participle stem of asseverare (see asseverate).
asshole (n.)
variant of arsehole (also see ass (n.2)). Meaning "contemptible person," mid-1930s.
assiduity (n.)
early 15c., from Latin assiduatem "continual presence," noun of quality from past participle stem of assiduus (see assiduous).
assiduous (adj.)
1530s, from Latin assiduus "attending; continually present, incessant; busy; constant," from assidere "to sit down to," thus "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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
early 15c., "one who is appointed to act for another," from Old French assigne, past participle of assignier (see assign).
assignment (n.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
"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.)
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.)
1570s, "an act of assistance," from assist (v.). In the sporting sense attested 1877 in baseball, 1925 in ice hockey.
assistance (n.)
early 15c., "act of helping or aiding," from Middle French assistance, from assister (see assist (v.)).
assistant (n.)
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.)
mid-15c., "helpful, of assistance," from Middle French assistent (see assistant (n.)).
assize (n.)
"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 (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.)
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.)
1530s, from associate (adj.).
associate (adj.)
early 15c., "allied, connected, paired," from Latin associatus, past participle of associare (see associate (v.)).
association (n.)
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.)
1812, from associate (v.) + -ive.
assonance (n.)
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.)
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.)
"arranged in sorts," 1797, past participle adjective from assort (v.).
assortment (n.)
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.)
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.)
1708, probably from assume on model of persuasive, etc.
assumable (adj.)
1784, from assume + -able. Related: Assumably; assumability.
assume (v.)
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.)
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.)
early 15c., from Latin assumptivus, from assumpt-, past participle stem of assumere "take up, take to oneself" (see assume) + -ive.
assurance (n.)
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.)
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.)
of persons, "confident, self-assured," late 14c., past participle adjective from assure. Related: Assuredly; assuredness.
Assyria
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.)
1846, from Assyria + -ology. Related: Assyriologist.
Astarte
Phoenician goddess identified with Greek Aphrodite, from Greek Astarte, from Phoenician Astoreth.
astatic (adj.)
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.)
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.)
"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.)
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.