as·​ser·​tive | \ ə-ˈsər-tiv How to pronounce assertive (audio) , a- \

Definition of assertive

1 : disposed to or characterized by bold or confident statements and behavior an assertive leader
2 : having a strong or distinctive flavor or aroma assertive wines

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Other Words from assertive

assertively adverb
assertiveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for assertive

aggressive, militant, assertive, self-assertive mean obtrusively energetic especially in pursuing particular goals. aggressive implies a disposition to dominate often in disregard of others' rights or in determined and energetic pursuit of one's ends. aggressive in his business dealings militant also implies a fighting disposition but suggests not self-seeking but devotion to a cause, movement, or principle. militant protesters rallied against the new law assertive suggests bold self-confidence in expression of opinion. the more assertive speakers dominated the forum self-assertive connotes forwardness or brash self-confidence. a self-assertive young upstart

Examples of assertive in a Sentence

When my mother brought my baby sister home on the train from the Chicago adoption agency, she had hired a woman from the South named Arizona, much younger than Hope, vigorous, boisterous, taller, darker, and less acclimated to the behavior expected of servants in an upscale Wasp suburb up North. She was a blithe spirit, as I remember her, assertive, gleeful, expansive, loud and goofy with me when, to tease her, I'd pull on the bow of her apron strings … — Edward Hoagland, Harper's, July 2004 Don't substitute corn syrup or molasses for cane syrup. Corn syrup is thinner, lighter and milder than cane syrup, and molasses is thicker, darker and much more assertive. — Denise Landis, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2002 One of the points I think that's important is the way in which the United States has responded to the initiatives in the African Renaissance, and a lot of the developments that we have seen, in fact, have their roots in Africa. What it means for U.S. policy is that the Africans themselves are being much more assertive than they have been in the past. Emerge, June 1998 Daily newspaper in Chicago metro region seeks aggressive, assertive crime reporter who thrives on getting obligatory … items done fast in order to devote time to colorful stories about villains, victims and everything in between. Editor & Publisher, 31 Oct. 1998 Their daughter is an assertive little girl. If you want people to listen to your opinions, you'll need to learn to be more assertive.
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Recent Examples on the Web New Zealand, for its part, has taken an assertive approach to engaging with its colonial past and is one of the few countries with a treaty governing Indigenous land redistribution. Natasha Frost,, "Ties no longer mandatory in New Zealand Parliament, after member objects," 10 Feb. 2021 Prior to its removal at some point this season, the pingpong table was where the Saints competitors gathered to assert the dominance of their skill, and perhaps none were more assertive than Drew Brees and his distinct playing style. Luke Johnson,, "Drew Brees and Tom Brady, ageless wonders and competitive as ever -- at everything," 15 Jan. 2021 Wagner was averaging less than seven attempts and 10 points through his first six games, but the sophomore has been more assertive against the Cornhuskers and Terrapins in the past week. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball stays undefeated with 84-73 win at Maryland," 1 Jan. 2021 Barring that unlikely move, however, District 10 voters will have a stark choice between Perry’s small-government vision and Johnson’s call for an assertive approach to solving the city’s problems. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: Conservative Clayton Perry draws a serious challenger in council race," 12 Dec. 2020 Those on both sides of the political divide increasingly agree that a more assertive approach towards China is needed. Will Knight, Wired, "One Big Challenge for Biden? China’s Push for Tech Supremacy," 9 Nov. 2020 Professor William David was known to have been rather assertive with then-Western Maryland College President Dr. Ensor about the issue of racial diversity at Western Maryland College in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Kevin Dayhoff,, "Dayhoff: 60 years ago Western Maryland College and the Baltimore Colts were agents of change in Carroll County," 22 Jan. 2021 Those shoppers are also likely to be disappointed by aspects of the 430i coupe, but anyone new to the luxury world or the BMW brand will walk away smitten with the smooth and assertive powertrain. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2021 BMW 430i xDrive Deserves a Better Chassis," 22 Jan. 2021 Instead, for some, opting out of an increasingly ubiquitous and assertive Amazon offers a sense of control and agency, however slight. New York Times, "Life Without Amazon (Well, Almost)," 29 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assertive.' 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 assertive

circa 1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assertive

see assert

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Time Traveler for assertive

Time Traveler

The first known use of assertive was circa 1619

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Statistics for assertive

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Assertive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for assertive



English Language Learners Definition of assertive

: confident in behavior or style


as·​ser·​tive | \ ə-ˈsər-tiv How to pronounce assertive (audio) \

Kids Definition of assertive

: having a bold or confident manner an assertive attitude

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