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The Collaborative International Dictionary
Assets

Assets \As"sets\, n. pl. [OF. asez enough, F. assez, fr. L. ad + satis, akin to Gr. ? enough, Goth. saps full. Cf. Assai, Satisfy.]

  1. (Law)

    1. Property of a deceased person, subject by law to the payment of his debts and legacies; -- called assets because sufficient to render the executor or administrator liable to the creditors and legatees, so far as such goods or estate may extend.
      --Story.
      --Blackstone.

    2. Effects of an insolvent debtor or bankrupt, applicable to the payment of debts.

  2. The entire property of all sorts, belonging to a person, a corporation, or an estate; as, the assets of a merchant or a trading association; -- opposed to liabilities.

    Note: In balancing accounts the assets are put on the Cr. side and the debts on the Dr. side.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
assets

1530s, "sufficient estate," from Anglo-French asetz (singular), from Old French assez (11c.) "sufficiency, satisfaction; compensation," noun use of adverb meaning "enough, sufficiently; very much, a great deal," from Vulgar Latin *ad satis "to sufficiency," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + satis "enough" (see sad).\n

\nBeginning as a legal term, "sufficient estate" (to satisfy debts and legacies), it passed into general use; meaning "any property that theoretically can be converted to ready money" is from 1580s. Asset is a 19c. artificial singular. Asset stripping attested from 1972.

Wiktionary
assets

n. 1 (plural of asset English)Category:English plurals 2 (context finance English) Any property or object of value that one possesses, usually considered as applicable to the payment of one's debts. 3 (context legal English) Sufficient estate; property sufficient in the hands of an executor or heir to pay the debts or legacy of the testator or ancestor to satisfy claims against it. 4 Any goods or property properly available for the payment of a bankrupt's or a deceased person's obligations or debts.

WordNet
assets

n. anything of material value or usefulness [ant: liabilities]

Usage examples of "assets".

With luck, the flow of money coming in from the sale of assets might cover the payments to creditors.

But the syndicate members were bankers just like 518 KEN FOLLETT the Pilasters, and in their hearts they thought There but for the grace of God go L Besides, the cooperation of the partners was helpful in selling off the assets, and it was worth a small payment to retain their goodwill.

He had finally disposed of all the assets of Pilasters Bank, and the syndicate that had rescued the bank had made a small profit.

They handed over the assets of the Miranda family to the Santamaria Harbor Corporation, and that made the bonds worth something again.

That canceled a huge part of the debt we were running up, and in parallel with that we divested some other assets to holding companies and reassigned share ownership of the core company to Amethi residents.

President As the lawfully elected head of state, it is your obligation to provide us with assets that we can liquidate back on Earth.

A convoy of eight jeeps to carry the three platoons, accompanied by five ten-ton trucks that would bring back any assets they found.

He had charge of all the USW assets in the area, ranging from P-3s deployed from shore stations in support of the battle group, to the S-3 submarine-hunter killers that flew off our own flight deck, to the host of other national assets, including our own submarines.

It comes from national assets, the buzzword for satellite or other top secret airborne detection systems, or from a spy on the ground somewhere.

What was clear now was that the admiral wanted dissemination of this information limited to the people that already knew about it, and he wanted USW assets in the air conducting what he claimed were safety-of-navigation operations.

They deploy air assets in waves of overwhelming numbers--you know how they are, they always have to have numerical superiority.

The plat camera showed two fighters on the cat with the USW assets lined up behind.

Then he might do something to your assets, and if you were fighting a guerrilla war on the streets of some foreign city, you were not getting the actual job done.

Executing on judgments, and tracing assets the defendant might have stashed away.

Benjamin had exhibits to back it up, copies of his federal income tax returns for the last five years, and a financial statement detailing his assets and liabilities.