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

President Trump has asserted privilege over the entire Mueller report and underlying documents. CBS News, "House to vote to hold Barr and McGahn in contempt next week," 3 June 2019 Based on what is visible, the dossier is not described to the FISA court as a political document, as the Democrats have asserted; in fact, the FBI speculates to the FISA court that it was commissioned to damage Candidate 1, who is Donald Trump. Fox News, "DOJ releases FISA docs that formed basis for surveillance of ex-Trump adviser Carter Page," 22 July 2018 No group has asserted responsibility for the attack, but most of the others have been claimed by the Islamic State. Sayed Salahuddin, BostonGlobe.com, "Spate of attacks in eastern Afghanistan marks push by Islamic State militants," 11 July 2018 Counterintuitively, Democratic gains could help Patrick and Abbott assert more power over the House, which did not always bow down to them in 2017. Scott Braddock, Houston Chronicle, "Braddock: Perhaps the GOP civil war in Texas really is over," 2 July 2018 The village attorney drafted a document that laid out Dolton’s case for revoking the license, which asserted Club One’s operators, who were leasing the space from Terzich, had improperly used Mucho Gusto’s license as their own. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "One year later, Dolton trustees still seek answers in nightclub shooting that injured 5," 26 June 2018 His 1988 paper asserting that Morton's measurements were reasonably accurate, however, was largely dismissed. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "There’s new evidence confirming bias of the “father of scientific racism”," 4 Oct. 2018 There's even one bold stan who asserts that the bright beauty look pops better on Ashley than on Rih. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Makeup Artist Alissa Ashley Recreated Rihanna's Vogue Cover and the Resemblance Is Uncanny," 8 Aug. 2018 But private landowners have become more adamant about restricting access to water on their property in order to assert their claim to the minerals underneath it. Sara Sneath, NOLA.com, "As Louisiana's coast washes away, state cashing in on disputed oil and gas rights," 31 May 2018

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

15 Jun 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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