assert

verb
as·​sert | \ ə-ˈsərt , 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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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

Written by five men including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams, with Jefferson being the main author, the Declaration of Independence asserted America's rights as independent from the British crown. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Visit Sussex's Rare Copy of America's Declaration of Independence," 3 Oct. 2018 American citizens asserting their rights on their own native soil. Martha S. Jones, Time, "How the 14th Amendment's Promise of Birthright Citizenship Redefined America," 9 July 2018 Daniels asserts that those serving today are just as brave. Chuck Dauphin, Billboard, "Charlie Daniels Gives $100,000 to Veterans, Calls American Troops 'The Best Men and Women We Got'," 4 July 2018 According to The New York Times' Juliet Macur, Penny walked out of a Senate subcommittee hearing, asserting his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Ex-USA Gymnastics President Pleads the 5th to Questions on Athlete Sexual Abuse at Hearing," 5 June 2018 But those countries are concerned that the world’s largest historical emitter is now asserting its right to continue emitting large amounts of carbon. Jean Chemnick, Scientific American, "How the World Is Coping 1 Year After Trump Abandoned Paris Climate Pact," 31 May 2018 Many want to assert individual rights as a check on centralized power. The Christian Science Monitor, "Saudi Arabia’s struggle to define national identity," 29 May 2018 The Trump administration recently established a policy of separating families who cross the U.S. border illegally, including those who enter our country so as to assert their legal right to seek asylum. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "John Kelly: Undocumented Immigrants ‘Don’t Have the Skills’ to Assimilate Into U.S Society," 11 May 2018 Basically, the theory asserts that there is one of two ways to be a woman, and one is desirable and one is used. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "The Bachelor's Focus on Colton Underwood's Virginity Shows a Bigger Problem," 8 Jan. 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

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \
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 \

Legal Definition of assert

: to present and demand recognition of assert a claim

Other Words from assert

assertion \ ə-​ˈsər-​shən \ 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

Comments on assert

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to deny responsibility for

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