Ascertain vs Access - What's the difference?

ascertain | access |

As verbs the difference between ascertain and access

is that ascertain is to find out definitely; to discover or establish while access is to gain or obtain access to.

As a noun access is

(uncountable) a way or means of approaching or entering; an entrance; a passage.




(en verb)
  • To find out definitely; to discover or establish.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1905, author=
  • , title= , chapter=1 citation , passage=“There the cause of death was soon ascertained ?; the victim of this daring outrage had been stabbed to death from ear to ear with a long, sharp instrument, in shape like an antique stiletto, which […] was subsequently found under the cushions of the hansom. […]”}}
    As soon as we ascertain what the situation is, we can plan how to proceed.


    * determine * discover * establish * find out * learn * work out





    Etymology 1

    * First attested in the early 14th century. * (entrance) First attested about 1380. * From (etyl), from (etyl) .


  • (uncountable) A way or means of approaching or entering; an entrance; a passage.
  • * All access was thronged. - Milton
  • (uncountable) The act of approaching or entering; an advance.
  • (uncountable) The right or ability of approaching or entering; admittance; admission; accessibility.
  • (uncountable) The quality of being easy to approach or enter.
  • * c. 1600 , (William Shakespeare), Act 2 Scene 1
  • I did repel his fetters, and denied His access to me. - Shakespeare, Hamlet, II-i
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011
  • , date=September 20 , author=Graeme Paton , title=University access plan 'will fail', says Russell Group , work=Telegraph citation , page= , passage=Coalition plans to widen access to university will fail to get to the 'root cause' of the problem, according to the Russell Group.}}
  • (uncountable) Admission to sexual intercourse.
  • * 1760s , (William Blackstone),
  • During coverture, access of the husband shall be presumed, unless the contrary be shown.
  • (countable) An increase by addition; accession; as, an access of territory.
  • * I, from the influence of thy looks, receive access in every virtue. - Milton
  • (countable) An onset, attack, or fit of disease; an ague fit.
  • * The first access looked like an apoplexy. - Burnet
  • (countable) An outburst of an emotion; a paroxysm; a fit of passion; as, an access of fury.
  • * 1946 , Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History (Abridgement of Volumes I-VI by D.C. Somervell)
  • It appears that, about the middle of the fourth century of the Christian Era, the Germans in the Roman service started the new practice of retaining their native names; and this change of etiquette, which seems to have been abrupt, points to a sudden access of self-confidence and self-assurance in the souls of the barbarian personnel which had previously been content to 'go Roman' without reservations.
    Usage note: sometimes confused with excess
  • (uncountable, legal) The right of a non-custodial parent to visit their child.
  • (uncountable, computing) The process of locating data in memory.
  • (uncountable, Internet) Connection to or communication with a computer program or to the Internet.
  • Derived terms
    * direct access * random access * remote access

    Etymology 2

    * First attested in 1962.


  • To gain or obtain access to.
  • (computing) To have access to (data).
  • I can't access most of the data on the computer without a password.


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