We're working on a new site. Click here to get a sneak preview.
Word of the Day


audio pronunciation
October 21, 2013
: to affirm or declare positively or earnestly
"I will myself asseverate and bind it by an oath, that the muff thou bearest in thy hand belongeth unto Madam Sophia; for I have frequently observed her, of later days, to bear it about her." — From Henry Fielding’s 1749 novel Tom Jones

"And as the dinner progressed, the fire she had shone on the floor at the United Nations ignited: 'You stick to your guns.' Only one other person fortified me with advice like that, Lady Thatcher, who asseverated, 'If you have nothing else you have your principles.'" — From an article by R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr. in the New York Sun, December 15, 2006
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
Sharing writing advice in a 2001 article in the New York Times, the novelist Elmore Leonard wrote that he "had to stop reading to get the dictionary" when he encountered "she asseverated" instead of "she said" in a work by Mary McCarthy. We say with all seriousness that "asseverate" is a fancy word meaning "to assert or declare." It was formed in Latin from the prefix "ad-" ("to, toward") and the verb "severare," a relative of the adjective "severus," meaning "serious or severe." Nowadays "asseverate" is rare, used mostly, as Mr. Leonard found out, by those who like to show off their vocabularies.

Word Family Quiz: What relative of "asseverate" means "to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult"? The answer is ...
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears