verb as·sert \ə-ˈsərt, a-\

Definition of assert

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to state or declare positively and often forcefully or aggressively The suspect continued to assert his innocence.

  3. 2a :  to demonstrate the existence of He wished to vindicate himself in some way, to assert his manhood. — James Joyceb :  posit, postulate

assert oneself

  1. :  to speak or act in a manner that compels recognition especially of one's rights … she wants him to learn to assert himself with people in positions of authority. — Malcolm Gladwell

Examples of assert in a Sentence

  1. He asserted that there were spies in the government.

  2. She asserted her independence from her parents by getting her own apartment.

  3. The boss was reluctant to assert his authority over his employees.

Recent Examples of assert from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assert.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of assert

Latin assertus, past participle of asserere, from ad- + serere to join — more at series

Synonym Discussion of assert

assert, declare, affirm, protest, avow mean to state positively usually in anticipation of denial or objection. assert implies stating confidently without need for proof or regard for evidence. asserted that modern music is just noise declare stresses open or public statement. declared her support for the candidate affirm implies conviction based on evidence, experience, or faith. affirmed the existence of an afterlife protest emphasizes affirming in the face of denial or doubt. protested that he really had been misquoted avow stresses frank declaration and acknowledgment of personal responsibility for what is declared. avowed that all investors would be repaid in full

synonyms see in addition maintain

ASSERT Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of assert for English Language Learners

  • : to state (something) in a strong and definite way

  • : to demand that other people accept or respect (something)

ASSERT Defined for Kids


verb as·sert \ə-ˈsərt\

Definition of assert for Students




  1. 1 :  to state clearly and strongly assert an opinion

  2. 2 :  to make others aware of assert your independence

  3. 3 :  to speak or act in a way that demands attention or recognition If you want people to listen, you have to assert yourself.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb as·sert \ə-ˈsərt\

Legal Definition of assert

  1. :  to present and demand recognition of assert a claim


\ə-ˈsər-shən\ play noun

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