Etymology
Advertisement
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/adsidere "to sit beside" (and thus to assist in the office of a judge), "sit with in counsel or office," from ad "to" (see ad-) + sedere "to sit," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit."

One job of the judge's assistant 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.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
reassess (v.)

also re-assess, "assess again," 1803; see re- "again" + assess. Related: Reassessed; reassessing.

Related entries & more 
cess (n.)

"tax, levy," 1530s, from the verb cess "impose a tax upon" (late 15c.), altered spelling of sess, short for assess (q.v.). 

Related entries & more 
assessment (n.)
1530s, "value of property for tax purposes," from assess + -ment. Meaning "act of determining or adjusting of tax rate, charges, damages, etc., to be paid" is from 1540s (earlier in this sense was assession, mid-15c.). General sense of "estimation" is recorded from 1620s; in education jargon from 1956.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
assessor (n.)
late 14c., "assistant or adviser to a judge or magistrate," 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, one who sits by (another)," agent noun from past participle stem of assidere "to sit beside" (see assess). From 1610s as "one who assesses taxes." Milton uses it in the literal Latin sense in "Paradise Lost," calling Christ the Assessor of God's throne.
Related entries & more 
*sed- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to sit."

It forms all or part of: assess; assiduous; assiento; assize; banshee; beset; cathedra; cathedral; chair; cosset; dissident; dodecahedron; Eisteddfod; ephedra; ephedrine; ersatz; icosahedron; inset; insidious; nest; niche; nick (n.) "notch, groove, slit;" nidicolous; nidification; nidus; obsess; octahedron; piezo-; piezoelectric; polyhedron; possess; preside; reside; saddle; sanhedrim; seance; seat; sedan; sedate; (adj.) "calm, quiet;" sedative; sedentary; sederunt; sediment; see (n.) "throne of a bishop, archbishop, or pope;" sessile; session; set (v.); sett; settle (n.); settle (v.); siege; sit; sitz-bath; sitzkrieg; size; soil (n.1) "earth, dirt;" Somerset; soot; subside; subsidy; supersede; surcease; tanist; tetrahedron; Upanishad.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit a-sadat "sat down," sidati "sits," nidah "resting place, nest;" Old Persian hadis "abode;" Greek ezesthai "to sit," hedra "seat, chair, face of a geometric solid;" Latin sedere "to sit; occupy an official seat, preside; sit still, remain; be fixed or settled," nidus "nest;" Old Irish suide "seat, sitting," net "nest;" Welsh sedd "seat," eistedd "sitting," nyth "nest;" Old Church Slavonic sežda, sedeti "to sit," sedlo "saddle," gnezdo "nest;" Lithuanian sėdėti "to sit;" Russian sad "garden," Lithuanian sodinti "to plant;" Gothic sitan, Old English sittan "to sit."

Related entries & more 
prorate (v.)

also pro-rate, "divide or distribute proportionally, assess pro rata," 1860, American English, verb derived from Latin pro rata (parte); see pro rata. Related: Prorated; prorating.

Related entries & more 
pretest 

also pre-test, by 1949 as a verb ("to test before") and noun ("experimental test to assess the questions or methods intended for a projected test"), from pre- "before" + test.

Related entries & more 
censure (n.)

late 14c., "judicial sentence," originally ecclesiastical, from Latin censura "judgment, opinion," also "office of a censor," from census, past participle of censere "appraise, estimate, assess" (see censor (n.)). General sense of "a finding of fault and an expression of condemnation" is from c. 1600.

Related entries & more