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as·​sent ə-ˈsent How to pronounce assent (audio)
assented; assenting; assents

intransitive verb

: to agree to or approve of something (such as an idea or suggestion) especially after thoughtful consideration : concur
assent to a proposal
assentor noun
or assenter


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as·​sent ə-ˈsent How to pronounce assent (audio)
: an act of agreeing to something especially after thoughtful consideration : an act of assenting : acquiescence, agreement
She gave her assent to the proposal.
Choose the Right Synonym for assent

assent, consent, accede, acquiesce, agree, subscribe mean to concur with what has been proposed.

assent implies an act involving the understanding or judgment and applies to propositions or opinions.

voters assented to the proposal

consent involves the will or feelings and indicates compliance with what is requested or desired.

consented to their daughter's going

accede implies a yielding, often under pressure, of assent or consent.

officials acceded to the prisoners' demands

acquiesce implies tacit acceptance or forbearance of opposition.

acquiesced to his boss's wishes

agree sometimes implies previous difference of opinion or attempts at persuasion.

finally agreed to come along

subscribe implies not only consent or assent but hearty approval and active support.

subscribes wholeheartedly to the idea

Example Sentences

Verb One day I arrived at class to discuss some abolition treaties written during the early Romantic period. An African American woman, Stephanie, was introduced to me by one of my students. Stephanie asked if she could sit in on the class, and I of course assented. Laura Mandell, Profession, 1997
Christopher, on his end, is supposed to have assented to and even welcomed this public confirmation of his own negligibility, not that foreign diplomats needed any. Tom Carson, Village Voice, 19 July 1994
Fearing that without a new batch of social measures the country would slip away from him, Roosevelt assented—sometimes rather grudgingly—to proposals that in sum make up the semi-welfare state under which we have lived this past half century. Irving Howe, New York Times Book Review, 28 Sept.1986
The general proposed a detailed plan and the President assented. are we to conclude from your silence that you assent? Noun Cornel West of Harvard introduced Bradley as "my brother, my comrade." Then Bradley, donning drugstore reading glasses, standing motionless at the podium, took the air out of the cavernous hall with a lecture on the history of racism and the complexity of ethnic subcultures. He got nods of knowing assent, but he could have had a standing O. Howard Fineman, Newsweek, 19 July 1999
Appointments at top universities often required the recommendation and assent of experts from other fields; insofar as deans, provosts, and other administrators came from economics and the hard sciences, many of them recognized rational choice as something close to their own ideals of legitimate scientific research. Jonathan Cohn, New Republic, 25 Oct. 1999
From The Second Sex to In a Different Voice, I could read and appreciate the analysis or the argument without feeling personally very involved. I could, and did, argue for feminism because I believed in much of what feminist writers were saying about gender equality, but my assent came from my head, not my heart. I knew that as an audience for feminist writers I was a pretty tertiary concern. Robert J. Connors, College English, February 1996
Once filming began, sequences that had been axed for budgetary reasons were put back—with the studio's tacit assent. Charles Fleming, Vanity Fair, August 1995
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Recent Examples on the Web
That’s certainly how the characters feel in the early episodes, quietly assenting to the fate suggested in their bad marriages, puzzling children and unfulfilling jobs. Lydia Kiesling, New York Times, 1 Apr. 2023 What all these candidates had in common was their willingness to assent to some version of Mr. Trump’s view that the 2020 election was rigged or stolen. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2022 In an innovative hybrid arrangement, Cambodian and international jurists were paired at every stage, and a majority had to assent for a case to go forward. Time, 22 Sep. 2022 In its view, pushing a button manifests assent only if the user is explicitly advised that doing so manifests consent to the terms. Jack Greiner, The Enquirer, 3 May 2022 On April 27, the bear to Bulgaria’s northeast dealt the Balkan country of 7 million people a harsh blow, cutting the natural gas that supplies roughly half of its heating fuel for refusing to assent to the Kremlin’s new demand for payment in rubles. Jordan Mcgillis, National Review, 2 May 2022 The roadblock to even more spending was Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), whose steadfast refusal to assent to the budget-reconciliation bill ended up killing it. Dominic Pino, National Review, 28 Mar. 2022 The country’s attorney general — a Bolsonaro ally — needs to assent to a trial of the president in court. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021
After parliamentary deliberations, a final bill will be sent to the president for assent. Nimi Princewill, CNN, 29 Mar. 2023 The bill is expected to eventually go to Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, for assent. Larry Madowo, CNN, 21 Mar. 2023 Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi gave his assent. Robert F. Worth, The Atlantic, 22 Sep. 2022 Bol nodded her assent. Ken Goe For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 22 July 2022 Although Wisconsin is almost evenly split politically, Republicans have dominated the State Legislature through gerrymanders enacted in 2011 and, with the State Supreme Court’s assent, again in 2021. Michael Wines, New York Times, 29 June 2022 The congregation clapped and cried out in assent. Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2022 Roger, sagely, nodded assent. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 20 May 2022 The return of the islands to Saudi Arabia required Israeli assent because of its Camp David Accords, with Egypt and the Saudis agreeing to respect Israeli freedom of navigation. New York Times, 15 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'assent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French assentir, assenter, from Latin assentari, from assentire, from ad- + sentire to feel — more at sense

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of assent was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near assent

Cite this Entry

“Assent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to give one's approval : agree to something
assent noun

Legal Definition


1 of 2 intransitive verb
as·​sent ə-ˈsent How to pronounce assent (audio)
: to agree to something especially freely and with understanding : give one's assent


2 of 2 noun
: agreement to a matter under consideration especially based on freedom of choice and a reasonable knowledge of the matter
their mutual assent to the terms of the contract

More from Merriam-Webster on assent

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