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assume
used in The Scarlet Letter

18 uses
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1  —11 uses as in:
She assumed a false identity
Definition
to take on (adopt, wear, strike a pose or appearance of) — often while pretending or disguising
  • Her final employment was to gather seaweed of various kinds, and make herself a scarf or mantle, and a head-dress, and thus assume the aspect of a little mermaid.
    Chapter 15 -- Hester and Pearl (43% in)
assume = take on

(editor's note:  In this context, aspect is a synonym for form or ,=appearance.)
  • So forcibly did he dwell upon this symbol, for the hour or more during which his periods were rolling over the people's heads, that it assumed new terrors in their imagination, and seemed to derive its scarlet hue from the flames of the infernal pit.
    Chapter 3 -- The Recognition (94% in)
  • Deep ruffs, painfully wrought bands, and gorgeously embroidered gloves, were all deemed necessary to the official state of men assuming the reins of power, and were readily allowed to individuals dignified by rank or wealth, even while sumptuary laws forbade these and similar extravagances to the plebeian order.
    Chapter 5 -- Hester at her Needle (42% in)
  • The mother herself—as if the red ignominy were so deeply scorched into her brain that all her conceptions assumed its form—had carefully wrought out the similitude, lavishing many hours of morbid ingenuity to create an analogy between the object of her affection and the emblem of her guilt and torture.
    Chapter 7 -- The Governor's Hall (29% in)
  • Then the very nature of the opposite sex, or its long hereditary habit, which has become like nature, is to be essentially modified before woman can be allowed to assume what seems a fair and suitable position.
    Chapter 13 -- Another View of Hester (80% in)
  • At length, assuming a singular air of authority, Pearl stretched out her hand, with the small forefinger extended, and pointing evidently towards her mother's breast.
    Chapter 19 -- The Child at the Brookside (44% in)
  • This phenomenon, in the various shapes which it assumed, indicated no external change, but so sudden and important a change in the spectator of the familiar scene, that the intervening space of a single day had operated on his consciousness like the lapse of years.
    Chapter 20 -- The Minister in a Maze (26% in)
  • It was a maiden newly-won—and won by the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale's own sermon, on the Sabbath after his vigil—to barter the transitory pleasures of the world for the heavenly hope that was to assume brighter substance as life grew dark around her, and which would gild the utter gloom with final glory.
    Chapter 20 -- The Minister in a Maze (48% in)
  • The fathers and founders of the commonwealth—the statesman, the priest, and the soldier—seemed it a duty then to assume the outward state and majesty, which, in accordance with antique style, was looked upon as the proper garb of public and social eminence.
    Chapter 21 -- The New England Holiday (51% in)
  • Some of them, indeed, by their services in the Low Countries and on other fields of European warfare, had fairly won their title to assume the name and pomp of soldiership.
    Chapter 22 -- The Procession (10% in)
  • But even when the minister's voice grew high and commanding—when it gushed irrepressibly upward—when it assumed its utmost breadth and power, so overfilling the church as to burst its way through the solid walls, and diffuse itself in the open air—still, if the auditor listened intently, and for the purpose, he could detect the same cry of pain.
    Chapter 22 -- The Procession (68% in)

There are no more uses of "assume" flagged with this meaning in The Scarlet Letter.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
?  —7 uses
exact meaning not specified
  • This rag of scarlet cloth—for time, and wear, and a sacrilegious moth had reduced it to little other than a rag—on careful examination, assumed the shape of a letter.
    Introductory (67% in)
  • This, in fact—a desire to put myself in my true position as editor, or very little more, of the most prolix among the tales that make up my volume—this, and no other, is my true reason for assuming a personal relation with the public.
    Introductory (3% in)
  • I felt it almost as a destiny to make Salem my home; so that the mould of features and cast of character which had all along been familiar here—ever, as one representative of the race lay down in the grave, another assuming, as it were, his sentry-march along the main street—might still in my little day be seen and recognised in the old town.
    Introductory (20% in)
  • Had it been otherwise—had an active politician been put into this influential post, to assume the easy task of making head against a Whig Collector, whose infirmities withheld him from the personal administration of his office—hardly a man of the old corps would have drawn the breath of official life within a month after the exterminating angel had come up the Custom-House steps.
    Introductory (25% in)
  • In accordance with this rule it may safely be assumed that the forefathers of Boston had built the first prison-house somewhere in the Vicinity of Cornhill, almost as seasonably as they marked out the first burial-ground, on Isaac Johnson's lot, and round about his grave, which subsequently became the nucleus of all the congregated sepulchres in the old churchyard of King's Chapel.
    Chapter 1 -- The Prison Door (22% in)
  • She assumed a freedom of speculation, then common enough on the other side of the Atlantic, but which our forefathers, had they known it, would have held to be a deadlier crime than that stigmatised by the scarlet letter.
    Chapter 13 -- Another View of Hester (65% in)
  • Without a word more spoken—neither he nor she assuming the guidance, but with an unexpressed consent—they glided back into the shadow of the woods whence Hester had emerged, and sat down on the heap of moss where she and Pearl had before been sitting.
    Chapter 17 -- The Pastor and his Parishioner (12% in)

There are no more uses of "assume" in The Scarlet Letter.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list — Onelook.com®