toggle menu
1000+ books


used in a sentence
(click/touch triangles for details)
Definition find out, learn, or determine with certainty (usually by making an effort)
  • A committee was formed to ascertain the level of public support for a new bike path.
  • The slaveholders have been known to send in spies among their slaves, to ascertain their views and feelings in regard to their condition.
    Douglass, Frederick  --  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave
  • Looking cautiously round, to ascertain that they were not overheard, the two hags cowered nearer to the fire, and chuckled heartily.
    Dickens, Charles  --  Oliver Twist Or The Parish Boy's Progress
  • After consulting a tree to ascertain from its lichen which way was south, and taking no lip from the subordinates who ventured to correct him, Colonel Maycomb set out on a purposeful journey to rout the enemy and entangled his troops so far northwest in the forest primeval that they were eventually rescued by settlers moving inland.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • ascertain = determine
  • To ascertain the truth, we focus more intently on the screen.
    Haruki Murakami  --  After Dark
  • ascertain = find out or learn
  • When the new wore off his grandfather's watch, and carrying it became a day's burdensome task, Jem no longer felt the necessity of ascertaining the hour every five minutes.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • ascertaining = determining
  • Every effort should be made to find the secretary, Stangerson, and to ascertain some particulars of the habits of the deceased.
    Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan  --  A Study In Scarlet
  • See first that the design is wise and just: that ascertained, pursue it resolutely;
    William Shakespeare
  • They returned without being able to ascertain anything.
    Irving, Washington  --  The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, U.S.A., in the Rocky Mountains and the far West
  • "But we—" she glanced at him as if to ascertain his position, "we see each other only now and then—"
    Woolf, Virginia  --  Night and Day
  • Whether any boats visited the bay that morning or not, I never could ascertain.
    Melville, Herman  --  Typee
  • She felt a morbid desire to ascertain the point.
    Hawthorne, Nathaniel  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • A reconnoitring party was sent up the river to ascertain the truth of the report.
    Irving, Washington  --  Astoria or Anecdotes  of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains
  • Suppose I see two individuals approaching whose rank I wish to ascertain.
    Abbott, Edwin  --  Flatland
  • But, as the reader of this will have ascertained (if there ever is a reader) the idea of being Dragged Down holds no terror for me.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • Sam stopped at one that offered maps, and looked over a hand-drawn map of Citadel to ascertain the shortest way to the Seneschal's Court.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • Would the two, for his enlightenment, try to ascertain just what they had in common, and why they belonged to the same party?
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • Why she was so busy it was hard to ascertain; she had an excellent housekeeper, a noble butler, and two nurses for the baby.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • "Yes, we came up that way," he said, after ascertaining his bearings.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • And by this ascertained standard, White Fang treated them accordingly.
    Jack London  --  White Fang

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
Search for other examples by interest
General — Google News®
General — Time® Magazine
General — Wikipedia®