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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

Examples of assent in a Sentence

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
Recent Examples on the Web
You’re not meant to actually assent to the desires. Merve Emre, The New York Review of Books, 30 Jan. 2024 In this context, as anyone who has assented to a workplace drug screening can attest, urine contains certain ignominious truths. Justin Beal, Harper's Magazine, 14 Dec. 2022 The Prince assented to this and his examination was concluded. Chicago Tribune, 7 June 2023 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
Prior to the Frenchies assent, the Labrador Retriever was the AKC's top dog for over three decades and the smart little pups are certainly still a favorite in the South. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, 21 Mar. 2024 The bill, one of the harshest of its kind in Africa, still needs presidential assent to come into force. Reuters, NBC News, 28 Feb. 2024 Such a statement should include the assurance provided by prior administrations that the United States will accept any outcome reached peacefully by both sides and that has the assent of the people of Taiwan. Bonnie S. Glaser, Foreign Affairs, 30 Nov. 2023 The best way to divide possessions is with the heirs’ full assent and cooperation. Amy Dickinson, The Mercury News, 13 Feb. 2024 Recommended The monarch also gives royal assent to bills passed by Parliament, meaning that all legislation must receive his sign-off to become law. Sylvia Hui, Danica Kirka, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Feb. 2024 The bombers cannot take off, the missiles cannot fly, the warships cannot get under way, the robots cannot do their deadly duty until these men assent. Elizabeth Barber, Harper's Magazine, 2 Feb. 2024 The actor’s career has been the assent after his scene-stealing role as a fighter pilot in Top Gun: Maverick. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Jan. 2024 There was a roar of hopeful assent from a crowd hungry for a message that could meet this political moment. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, 15 Jan. 2024

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 14 Apr. 2024.

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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