As

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AS. A word purely Latin. It has two significations. First, it signifies weight, and in this sense, the Roman as, is the same thing as the Roman pound, which was composed of twelve ounces. It was divided also into many other parts (as may be seen in the law, Servum de hoeredibus, Inst. Lib. xiii. Pandect,) viz. uncia, 1 ounce; sextans, 2 ounces; quodrans, 3 ounces; triens, 4 ounces quincunx, 5 ounces; semis, 6 ounces; septunx, 7 ounces; bes, 8 ounces, dodrans, 9 ounces; dextans, 10 ounces; deunx, 11 ounces.
     2. From this primitive and proper sense of the word another was derived: that namely of the totality of a thing, Solidum quid. Thus as signified the whole of an inheritance, so that an heir ex asse, was an heir of the whole inheritance. An heir ex triente, ex semisse, ex besse, or ex deunce, was an heir of one-third, one-half, two-thirds, or eleven-twelfths.

References in classic literature ?
On Ascension Day we left Baylur, having procured some camels and asses to carry our baggage.
You might as well affirm the existence of mules, and deny that of horses and asses.
At last, upon a pledge that each should apply to his family with a common frankness, this convention of unhappy young asses broke up, went down the common stair, and in the grey of the spring morning, with the streets lying dead empty all about them, the lamps burning on into the daylight in diminished lustre, and the birds beginning to sound premonitory notes from the groves of the town gardens, went each his own way with bowed head and echoing footfall.