1. (Science: zoology) a quadruped of the genus equus (E. Asinus), smaller than the horse, and having a peculiarly harsh bray and long ears. The tame or domestic ass is patient, slow, and sure-footed, and has become the type of obstinacy and stupidity. There are several species of wild asses which are swift-footed.
2. A dull, heavy, stupid fellow; a dolt. Asses bridge. Pons asinorum The fifth proposition of the first book of euclid, The angles at the base of an isosceles triangle are equal to one another. A schoolboy, stammering out his asses bridge. . To make an ass of one’s self, to do or say something very foolish or absurd.
Origin: oe. Asse, as. Assa; akin to Icel. Asni, W. Asen, asyn, L. Asinus, dim. Aselus, gr.; also to as. Esol, OHG. Esil, g. Esel, goth. Asilus, dan. Aesel, lith. Asilas, Bohem. Osel, Pol. Osiel. The word is prob. Of Semitic origin; cf. Heb. Athn she ass. Cf. Ease.