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 assert (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 The standoff has turned H&M, one of the world’s largest clothing retailers, into the latest test case for how a big Western brand navigates a Chinese government increasingly willing to assert itself over the actions of foreign companies. Stu Woo, WSJ, "H&M, Under Attack In China, Sticks to Stance That Angered Beijing," 31 Mar. 2021 After an especially passive performance from Mobley in a January loss at Oregon State, USC coach Andy Enfield challenged the freshman to assert himself. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "USC’s Evan Mobley out to prove in NCAA tournament he’s ready for NBA spotlight," 19 Mar. 2021 Chinese officials so publicly confronting the U.S. is not just to please its increasingly nationalist and autocratic leader Xi Jinping, but also to assert itself on the world stage. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, "US, Chinese officials clash in 1st high-level talks under Biden," 18 Mar. 2021 First of all, a podcast allows the client to assert themselves without the mitigating filter of a journalist or a publication’s editorial directive. Paul Blanchard, Rolling Stone, "How Publicists and PR Professionals Can Navigate the Changing Media Landscape," 18 Mar. 2021 The tremor in my left hand has somehow begun to assert itself in my right hand as well, hence my typing becomes blighted by too many errors. Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books, "The Struggle and the Scramble," 16 Mar. 2021 That’s where Thompson could really step in and assert himself as the team’s second safety. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "5 Auburn football players with the most to gain, lose during spring practice," 15 Mar. 2021 That allowed Clouden to assert herself in the game, attacking the paint time after time on her way to her third 30-plus point performance of the season. Stefan Krajisnik, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana women eliminated from Big Ten tournament, look to learn from gut-check loss," 12 Mar. 2021 By that weekend, as 17 states confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a nursing home near Seattle suffered through a fatal outbreak, a new reality began to assert itself. USA Today, "© Copyright Gannett 2021," 11 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for assert

Time Traveler

The first known use of assert was circa 1604

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Statistics for assert

Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Assert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assert. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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 assert (audio) \ noun

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Comments on assert

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