1 of 2


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


2 of 2


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
The latter measure is being challenged in court and the nation’s president has yet to assent to it. Kaula Nhongo / Bloomberg, TIME, 21 June 2024 Two counsellors of state act jointly in exercising royal powers such as assenting to laws, receiving ambassadors and holding Privy Council meetings. Chas Newkey-Burden, The Week Uk, theweek, 6 Feb. 2024
To a philosopher, as to a Jew, there is no insult as grave as placating assent, no tribute as great as a detailed rebuttal. Becca Rothfeld, Washington Post, 3 July 2024 The evidence would seem to completely dispute that, but what can be said with certainty is that Martin’s assent as an entertainer was gradual. Matthew Carey, Deadline, 23 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for assent 

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 13 Jul. 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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