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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Its face is more assertive than the bug-eyed design worn by its internal-combustion stablemate. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 9 May 2022 The authors concluded that having these skills, and being more assertive actually worked against them. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2022 As a teacher, Emily is uniquely positioned to encourage the little white boys in her class to be more assertive. Peter Debruge, Variety, 12 Mar. 2022 If anything, the Florida bill could afford to be more assertive. The Editors, National Review, 8 Mar. 2022 Likewise, foundations could be more assertive at requiring that their grant recipients develop comprehensive ESG strategies and then publicly report on their results. Timothy J. Mcclimon, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2022 One area where Adams has been more assertive is policing. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2022 Jones has to be assertive and make good decisions for Xavier to be able to win this game. Adam Baum, The Enquirer, 30 Mar. 2022 Being assertive meant breaking out of the role I was assigned and that would upset people and upsetting people terrified me. Masiyaleti Mbewe,, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near assertive

assert itself


assertiveness training

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Statistics for assertive

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Assertive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for assertive


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

Kids Definition of assertive

: having a bold or confident manner an assertive attitude

More from Merriam-Webster on assertive

Nglish: Translation of assertive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assertive for Arabic Speakers


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