An ultraviolet absorbance method for quantitation of acetylsalicylic acid esterase (hydrolase) activity has been developed and validated. The sensitivity of the method was found to be 2.8 nmol/ml-min in the assay cuvette. Linearity of the reaction with enzyme concentration and time has been demonstrated. The product of the enzymatic reaction, salicylic acid, has been identified by thin-layer chromatography using acetyl-[14C]salicylic acid. The quantities of salicylic acid produced in 5, 10, and 15 min of incubation were equal when assayed by the spectrophotometric method and by the acetyl-[14C]salicylic acid thin-layer chromatographic method. The time required for assay by ultraviolet absorbance is approximately 3 min/sample. © 1977.