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 The sodium levels on this pie are assertive but not bloodthirsty. Washington Post, "These are the D.C. area’s 10 best pizzas," 28 Jan. 2020 According to Yobs, my answers indicated a tendency to be cooperative, humble, and analytical, but less likely to be assertive or empathetic. Rachel Metz, CNN, "There's a new obstacle to landing a job after college: Getting approved by AI," 15 Jan. 2020 Her main opponent, Nationalist candidate and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, hopes to convince voters that working closely with an increasingly influential and assertive Beijing will ultimately better protect the island’s de facto sovereignty. Time, "Taiwan Is the Last Free Place in the Chinese-Speaking World. Can President Tsai Ing-wen Preserve Its Democracy?," 9 Jan. 2020 On the one hand, there are separatist groups that seek to break away from their nation-state and establish new countries; on the other, there is the outraged and assertive nationalism of existing states, determined to crush separatism. The Economist, "The World in 2020 The coming surge of separatism," 30 Dec. 2019 Though Daly was business-like, clear-headed and assertive about her disability, a few moments of discrimination have stuck with the daughters. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Disability rights advocate Ellen Daly dies at 82 after long career knocking down barriers in her path, enacting change," 28 Dec. 2019 Hummels had to be alert, organised and assertive to keep BVB's defence in check, doing it all with poise and confidence., "90min's Champions League Team of the Week - Matchday 1," 19 Sep. 2019 Yet as the Iowa caucuses approach, with his advisers urging him to be more aggressive, a resurgent Mr. Sanders has been more assertive against Mr. Biden, infusing his campaign with a harder edge. Sydney Ember, New York Times, "Why Bernie Sanders Went on the Attack Against Joe Biden," 22 Jan. 2020 His performance in Joker is broad, assertive, physically disciplined—and strangely forced and empty. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Joker's Rise to Oscar Dominance Is Not an Underdog Story—But That Narrative Sure Helped Get It There," 14 Jan. 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

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assertive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for assertive


How to pronounce assertive (audio)

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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