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ascertain
used in Moby Dick

2 uses
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Definition
find out, learn, or determine with certainty (usually by making an effort)
  • But not so did it seem to Ahab, who knew the sets of all tides and currents; and thereby calculating the driftings of the sperm whale's food; and, also, calling to mind the regular, ascertained seasons for hunting him in particular latitudes; could arrive at reasonable surmises, almost approaching to certainties, concerning the timeliest day to be upon this or that ground in search of his prey.
    Chapters 43-45 -- Hark!; The Chart; The Affidavit (11% in)
  • Soon that peculiar odor, sometimes to a great distance given forth by the living sperm whale, was palpable to all the watch; nor was any mariner surprised when, after inspecting the compass, and then the dog-vane, and then ascertaining the precise bearing of the odor as nearly as possible, Ahab rapidly ordered the ship's course to be slightly altered, and the sail to be shortened.
    Chapters 133-135 -- The Chase--First Day; The Chase--Second Day; The Chase--Third Day (1% in)

There are no more uses of "ascertain" in Moby Dick.

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