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).
Beginning 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.
1. Under these laws, he said, Mr. Rice's assets could have been frozen.
2. Brazil says its constitution forbids the private ownership of energy assets.
3. They must prove they own £250,000 of realisable assets.
4. The company lists its current assets at $56.9 million.
5. The company closed down operations and began liquidating its assets in January.