1. anything of material value or usefulness that is owned by a person or company
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Assets \As"sets\, n. pl. [OF. asez enough, F. assez, fr. L. ad +
satis, akin to Gr. ? enough, Goth. saps full. Cf. Assai,
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: anything of material value or usefulness that is owned by a
person or company
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
96 Moby Thesaurus words for "assets":
Swiss bank account, accounts, accounts payable,
accounts receivable, affluence, assessed valuation,
assets and liabilities, available means, balance, bank account,
bottom dollar, bottomless purse, budget, budgeting, bulging purse,
capital, capital goods, capitalization, cash reserves,
checking account, circumstances, command of money, costing-out,
current assets, deferred assets, easy circumstances,
embarras de richesses, exchequer, expenditures, finances,
fixed assets, fortune, frozen assets, fund, funds, gold, grist,
handsome fortune, high income, high tax bracket, holdings,
independence, intangible assets, intangibles, kitty, liabilities,
life savings, liquid assets, lucre, luxuriousness, mammon,
material assets, material wealth, means, money, money to burn,
moneybags, moneys, nest egg, net assets, net worth, opulence,
opulency, outstanding accounts, pecuniary resources, pelf, pocket,
pool, possessions, property, prosperity, prosperousness, purse,
quick assets, receipts, reserves, resource, resources, riches,
richness, savings, savings account, six-figure income, stock,
stock-in-trade, substance, supply, tangible assets, tangibles,
treasure, unpaid accounts, unregistered bank account,
upper bracket, wealth, wealthiness, wherewithal
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
ASSETS. The property in the hands of an heir, executor, administrator or
trustee, which is legally or equitably chargeable with the obligations,
which such heir, executor, administrator or other trustee, is, as such,
required to discharge, is called assets. The term is derived from the French
word assez, enough; that is, the heir or trustee has enough property. But
the property is still called assets, although there may not be enough to
discharge all the obligations; and the heir, executor, &c., is chargeable in
distribution as far as such property extends.
2. Assets are sometimes divided by all the old writers, into assets
enter mains and assets per descent; considered as to their mode of
distribution, they are legal or equitable; as to the property from which
they arise, they are real or personal.
3. Assets enter maim, or assets in hand, is such property as at once
comes to the executor or other trustee, for the purpose of satisfying claims
against him as such. Termes de la Ley.
4. Assets per descent, is that portion of the ancestor's estate which
descends to the heir, and which is sufficient to charge him, as far as it
goes, with the specialty debts of his ancestor. 2 Williams on Ex. 1011.
5. Legal assets, are such as constitute the fund for the payment of
debts according to their legal priority.
6. Equitable assets, are such as can be reached only by the aid of a
court of equity, and are to be divided,, pari passu, among all the
creditors; as when a debtor has made his property subject to his debts
generally, which, without his act would not have been so subject. 1 Madd.
Ch. 586; 2 Fonbl. 40 1, et seq.; Willis on Trust, 118.
7. Real assets, are such as descend to the heir, as in estate in fee
8. Personal assets, are such goods and chattels to which the executor
or administrator is entitled.
9. In commerce, by assets is understood all the stock in trade, cash,
and all available property belonging to a merchant or company. Vide,
generally, Williams on Exec. Index, h.t.; Toll. on Exec. Index, h.t.; 2
Bl. Com. 510, 511; 3 Vin. Ab. 141; 11 Vin. Ab. 239; 1 Vern. 94; 3 Ves. Jr.
117; Gordon's Law of Decedents, Index, h.t.; Ram on Assets.