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 For example, the analysts calculated how much overall operating costs will rise based on average costs from the past two school years, whereas the most recent year cost districts more, and school district officials assert that should be the base. oregonlive, 23 May 2021 Still, despite the failure to find any evidence of fraud, Trump's supporters there and in Arizona have continued to assert that more reviews of the 2020 election results are needed. Eric Bradner, CNN, 19 May 2021 This is the kind of move that prompted the media to assert that Donald Trump must be a Russian agent. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 19 May 2021 If the Olympics fell through in Japan but were staged in China, that could give the Beijing government more fuel to assert that its authoritarian system is superior. New York Times, 24 Mar. 2021 Billy Graham, for example, during his major evangelistic crusades throughout the second half of the twentieth century, routinely preached on the second coming of Christ to assert that now was the time for people to be born again. Matthew Avery Sutton, The New Republic, 14 Jan. 2021 Some rights groups assert that the national police force’s commanders are part of a military-style culture accustomed to engaging with drug-trafficking Marxist guerrillas. Juan Forero, WSJ, 22 May 2021 Under the legal principle, challenges could be considered moot since the challenger didn't assert their right quickly enough, Rychlak explained. Ivan Pereira, ABC News, 18 May 2021 Some would later assert in court that his prestigious firm was little more than a Ponzi scheme. Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 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

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Assert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assert. Accessed 13 Jun. 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 Magic, the papers asserted, was worthy of study.— Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon
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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