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ascertain
used in A Prayer for Owen Meany

5 uses
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Definition
find out, learn, or determine with certainty (usually by making an effort)
  • The Rev. Dudley Wiggin was occupying himself with the Christmas candles, measuring them to ascertain which were still long enough to be used again next year.
    p. 235.9
  • Lydia and my grandmother instinctively looked at me, perhaps to ascertain if I'd understood my mother correctly: that the time "before," when she'd had her "fling," which had led to me, was not a time when my mother had enjoyed any special feelings toward whoever my father was.
    p. 43.8
  • We tried to ascertain if Potter would know exactly how many beetleskins he had in his sock drawer—whether he would notice if we opened one of the foil wrappers and examined one of the beetleskins, which naturally, then, we could not put back; we would have to dispose of it.
    p. 162.4
  • I could see that Owen was struggling to ascertain the effect upon my grandmother of telling her that her granddaughter had beaten the shit out of him; Hester—except for her vomiting—was always relatively subdued around Grandmother.
    p. 486.9
  • She brought her daughter to Bishop Strachan for an interview; the mother wanted to interview someone from the English Department—to ascertain, she told the headmistress, if we were guilty of a "parochial" approach to literature.
    p. 538.0

There are no more uses of "ascertain" in A Prayer for Owen Meany.

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