Etymology
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ascertain (v.)
early 15c., "to inform, to give assurance" (a sense now obsolete), from Anglo-French acerteiner, Old French acertener "to assure, certify" (13c.), from a- "to" (see ad-) + certain "sure, assured" (see certain). Meaning "find out for sure by experiment or investigation" is first attested 1794. Related: Ascertained; ascertaining.
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ascertainable (adj.)
"capable of being found out," 1765, from ascertain + -able. Related: Ascertainably.
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ascertainment (n.)
1650s, "a reducing to certainty;" see ascertain + -ment. From 1799 as "act of attaining certainty, discovery as a result of investigation."
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*krei- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish."

It forms all or part of: ascertain; certain; concern; concert; crime; criminal; crisis; critic; criterion; decree; diacritic; discern; disconcert; discreet; discriminate; endocrine; excrement; excrete; garble; hypocrisy; incertitude; recrement; recriminate; riddle (n.2) "coarse sieve;" secret; secretary.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek krinein "to separate, decide, judge," krinesthai "to explain;" Latin cribrum "sieve," crimen "judgment, crime," cernere "to sift, distinguish, separate;" Old Irish criathar, Old Welsh cruitr "sieve;" Middle Irish crich "border, boundary;" Old English hriddel "sieve."
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diagnose (v.)

"to ascertain or determine (a disease) from its symptoms," 1861, back-formation from diagnosis (q.v.) on the model of metamorphose, etc. Earlier was diagnosticate (by 1834). Related: Diagnosed; diagnosing.

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number (v.)

c. 1300, "to count," from Old French nombrer "to count, reckon," from nombre (n.) "number" (see number (n.)). Meaning "to assign a distinctive number to" is late 14c.; that of "to ascertain the number of" is from early 15c. Related: Numbered; numbering.

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enumerate (v.)

"to count; ascertain or tell over the number of;" hence, "mention in detail, recapitulate," 1640s, from or modeled on Latin enumeratus, past participle of enumerare "to reckon up, count over, enumerate," from assimilated form of ex "out, out of" (see ex-) + numerare "to count, number," from numerus "number" (see number (n.)). Middle English had annumerate (early 15c.). Related: Enumerated; enumerating.

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pinpoint (n.)

also pin-point, 1849, "the point of a pin," from pin (n.) + point (n.). Taken into aeronautics in a sense of "place identified from the air" (used to ascertain the position of the aircraft); hence the verb meaning "locate precisely" (1917), which originally was aviators' slang. Related: Pinpointed; pinpointing. As an adjective, "performed with precisional accuracy," 1944, originally of aerial bombing.

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calculate (v.)
1560s, "to ascertain by computation, estimate by mathematical means," from Latin calculatus, past participle of calculare "to reckon, compute," from calculus (see calculus). Meaning "to plan, devise" is from 1650s; hence "to purpose, intend" and "to think, guess" (1830), both U.S. idioms. Replaced earlier calculen (mid-14c.), from Old French calculer. Related: Calculable.
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detect (v.)

early 15c., "uncover, lay bare, expose, disclose, reveal," a sense now obsolete, from Latin detectus, past participle of detegere "uncover, expose," figuratively "discover, reveal, disclose," from de "un-, off" (see de-) + tegere "to cover," from PIE root *(s)teg- "to cover."

Sense of "to find out the secret action or character of" is from 1580s. Meaning "discover, find out, ascertain" is from 1756. Related: Detected; detecting.

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