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

b : posit, postulate

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

Young people are uniquely and disproportionately affected when bodily autonomy is limited; they often are dismissed when voicing their opinions on their own lives, and have the fewest financial and legal resources to assert their rights. Yamani Hernandez, Teen Vogue, "Abortion Funds Can Help Preserve Reproductive Rights With or Without the Supreme Court," 12 July 2018 Parents and children should be reunited.’’ The judge directed the U.S. to cover the cost of all reunifications after the ACLU asserted that families were being forced to pay for travel expenses and DNA tests to prove parentage. Kartikay Mehrotra, BostonGlobe.com, "Reunited immigrant families face difficult choice: try to stay legally or leave children in the US," 14 July 2018 Earlier this year, a federal judge recognized a $1.5-billion claim that ITT Tech students who attended the school between 2006 and 2016 asserted against the company for breach of contract and consumer protection violations. Danielle Douglas-gabriel, latimes.com, "Defunct for-profit college firm ITT's former executives settle fraud charges," 10 July 2018 The Magic should expect Isaac and swingman Wes Iwundu, both entering their second NBA seasons, to assert themselves. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Five takeaways from the Magic’s summer-league win over the Grizzlies," 9 July 2018 And while some psychologists assert people with DID are simply highly suggestible, there are neural imaging studies indicating otherwise. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Emotional trauma can lead to dissociative identity disorder," 3 July 2018 In the age of #MeToo, as women assert their voices and reclaim personal power, this is a prime time to address these questions. Samantha Willis, Glamour, "Thomas Jefferson Owned Hundreds of Slaves. Now, a Black Woman Will Run His Foundation.," 29 June 2018 Parks suggested that Southwell’s firing was not because of long airport lines, as Reed had publicly asserted, but because Southwell resisted pressure from the mayor’s office to award airport contracts to companies that were not the lowest bidders. Stephen Deere, ajc, "Atlanta’s legal bills related to corruption probe top $7.5M, AJC finds," 28 June 2018 Most often, men are asserting themselves and women are being acted upon. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Actually, Kissing Is Good," 25 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

2 Nov 2018

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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