assert

verb
as·​sert | \ ə-ˈsərt How to pronounce assert (audio) , a-\
asserted; asserting; asserts

Definition of assert

transitive verb

1a : to state or declare positively and often forcefully or aggressively The suspect continued to assert his innocence.
b : to compel or demand acceptance or recognition of (something, such as one's authority) … the confrontations that inevitably occur [between orangutans] when several males try to assert dominance …NationalGeographic.com Wallace asserted control early—shutting down both candidates when they tried to talk over one another, and shushing the audience when it reacted too audibly.— Glenn Thrush
2a : to demonstrate the existence of He wished to vindicate himself in some way, to assert his manhood.— James Joyce
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 … a long-suffering Irish community asserted itself by putting its own politicians in power.— Ellis Cose
2 : to become more strongly apparent : to become clearly seen, known, or experienced Unbidden, a glint asserts itself in Ms. Brown's eyes …— Joanne Kaufman … a passion that through its long suppression was now asserting itself with volcanic necessity.— Zadie Smith

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Other Words from assert

assertible \ ə-​ˈsər-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce assertible (audio) , a-​ \ adjective
an assertible defense

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of assert in a Sentence

He asserted that there were spies in the government. She asserted her independence from her parents by getting her own apartment. The boss was reluctant to assert his authority over his employees.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Beijing has asserted its claim by building seven islands and equipping them with military runways, missile defense systems and outposts. Washington Post, "US promotes free and open Indo-Pacific at naval exercise," 4 Sep. 2019 In recent years, the Danish government has asserted its influence over Greenland to block Chinese investments out of concern for potential Greenlandic dependence on China. Martin Selsoe Sorensen, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Not for sale’: Trump’s talk of buying Greenland draws derision," 16 Aug. 2019 While kickers often stick to themselves, Molson has asserted himself among teammates in a bid to reinforce the team’s core values. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "J.J. Molson could join Bruin company that’s as elite as his family’s brewing company," 13 Aug. 2019 Zuckerberg has asserted more control over Instagram and WhatsApp in recent years, reining in their autonomy in an effort to keep all the services working more closely. Sarah Frier, Fortune, "Instagram Direct Is Being Rebuilt Using Facebook Messenger’s Technology," 7 Aug. 2019 Powell has asserted that Trump’s pressure has had no effect on the rate policies of the Fed, which is considered an independent agency. Martin Crutsinger, The Denver Post, "Federal Reserve cuts key interest rate in its first reduction in more than decade," 31 July 2019 Powell has asserted that Trump's pressure has had no effect on the rate policies of the Fed, which is considered an independent agency. Martin Crutsinger, chicagotribune.com, "Federal Reserve cuts key interest rate by quarter-point, marking the first reduction since 2008′s Great Recession," 31 July 2019 Powell has asserted that Trump’s pressure has had no effect on the rate policies of the Fed, which is considered an independent agency. Martin Crutsinger, Twin Cities, "Fed cuts key interest for the first time in more than a decade," 31 July 2019 Second, the Justice Department has asserted privileges concerning investigative information and decisions, ongoing matters within the Justice Department, and deliberations within our office. Katie Reilly, Time, "Read Robert Mueller's Opening Statement for His Testimony About the Russia Investigation," 24 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of assert

circa 1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for assert

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

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Statistics for assert

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for assert

The first known use of assert was circa 1604

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More Definitions for assert

assert

verb

English Language Learners Definition of assert

: to state (something) in a strong and definite way
: to demand that other people accept or respect (something)

assert

verb
as·​sert | \ ə-ˈsərt How to pronounce assert (audio) \
asserted; asserting

Kids Definition of assert

1 : to state clearly and strongly assert an opinion
2 : to make others aware of assert your independence
3 : to speak or act in a way that demands attention or recognition If you want people to listen, you have to assert yourself.
as·​sert | \ ə-ˈsərt How to pronounce assert (audio) \

Legal Definition of assert

: to present and demand recognition of assert a claim

Other Words from assert

assertion \ ə-​ˈsər-​shən How to pronounce assertion (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on assert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with assert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for assert

Spanish Central: Translation of assert

Nglish: Translation of assert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assert for Arabic Speakers

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