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 By asserting his innocence, Chapman said, Collins can deny the surviving family members — and the rest of society — a resolution. Freep.com, "'Handsome' EMU student was unlikely serial killer suspect. Letters, interviews reveal dark side.," 11 Nov. 2019 Another big chunk of the claim is $26.2 million that the Navajo Nation asserts it is due because the mine did not dig coal in areas specified by the lease on its land, resulting in a financial loss to the tribe. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "SRP hit with $53M claim for 'premature' closing of Kayenta coal mine," 8 Nov. 2019 At the same time colonial rule also ensured that post-colonial leaders would face a major struggle to assert their authority. Jonathan Fisher, Quartz Africa, "How colonial rule committed Africa to fragile authoritarianism," 2 Nov. 2019 Yet in an eleventh-hour objection, Google’s chief quantum-computing rival asserted that the quantum supremacy threshold has not yet been crossed. Quanta Magazine, "Google and IBM Clash Over Milestone Quantum Computing Experiment," 23 Oct. 2019 An Alford plea functions as a guilty pea in Maryland courts, but allows defendants to continue to assert their innocence. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Westminster man sentenced to 25 years after plea in child abuse case," 30 Sep. 2019 Finally, Harris wants to assert international leadership. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Presidential Primaries," 24 Sep. 2019 Sometime after the panel in Oslo, Searle was dishonorably discharged from his emeritus position at UC Berkeley for allegedly leveraging his branding as a genius to assert droit de seigneur and exploit, abuse, and assault a young woman. Wired, "An End to Pornography, Sophistry, and Panty Raids," 20 Sep. 2019 Jennifer Layden, chief medical officer at the Illinois Department of Public Health, asserted in a CDC briefing on September 6 that authorities cannot say for certain that this is a new disease entity. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Hunt for Cause of Vaping Illness Suggests Multiple Mechanisms of Damage," 17 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for assert

Time Traveler

The first known use of assert was circa 1604

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Statistics for assert

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Assert.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/asserted. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for assert

assert

verb
How to pronounce assert (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for assert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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