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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web 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 Saban asserted that Alabama doesn’t change systems despite the fact that the Tide is introducing two new coordinators, Steve Sarkisian on offense and Pete Golding on defense. Rainer Sabin | Rsabin@al.com, al.com, "Rewinding what Nick Saban said at SEC Media Days," 17 July 2019 Since then the court majority has begun to assert itself. Washington Post, "Iowa Supreme Court takes a right turn under Gov. Reynolds," 3 July 2019 The memorial’s knife remains on display, next to a thirty-eight-page binder of documents asserting its provenance. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "Who Speaks for Crazy Horse?," 16 Sep. 2019 Then try to be steadfast in asserting your boundaries, though that’s much easier said than done. Melissa A. Fabello, SELF, "You’re a Couple Looking for a Third. I’m a Potential Unicorn. Let’s Talk.," 12 Sep. 2019 Newspapers posted editorials seeking exemptions for part-time delivery workers and the California News Publishers Assn. ran full-page ads asserting that AB 5 would put many newspapers out of business. Los Angeles Times, "Sweeping bill rewriting California employment law sent to Gov. Newsom," 11 Sep. 2019 Heard previously challenged why Depp's suit — with $50 million in damages being asserted — was being entertained in Virginia, a state where neither individual lives and the only firm connection is The Washington Post's printing press. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Amber Heard Takes New Shot at Dismissing Johnny Depp's Defamation Suit," 6 Sep. 2019 On Friday, the government rounded up a number of the city’s more well-known activists, including Wong—regardless of the fact that activists assert there is no centralized leadership of the protests. Clarissa Pharr, Quartz, "Hong Kong protestors are using pop culture memes to stay visible to the world," 1 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about assert

Statistics for assert

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for assert

The first known use of assert was circa 1604

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on assert

What made you want to look up assert? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to spread as a report or rumor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!