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ascertain (verb) to make certain; to find out if something is true or not.
If you want to be sure whether what you have known is correct or not, you ascertain it. Wise persons make comments on a situation only after ascertaining facts, that is, wise persons make comments, only after knowing the facts about the situation. To ascertain, therefore, is to make sure of something. The police arrest persons only after ascertaining from witnesses what exactly happened. 'Please ascertain whether he is present.' This means, please know for certain whether he is here or not.
- Before joining the doctoral program, Anton wanted to ascertain if he would be eligible for any financial support from the university.
- Dr. Lindsay first wanted to ascertain if the patient was willing to undergo the treatment he would suggest, even before he began the treatment, because it would not only be expensive, but also painful.