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 China grew more assertive as President Hu Jintao came to the end of his term, moving to assert claims to disputed territory in the South China Sea and the Sea of Japan over strenuous American objections., "Biden Championed Close China Ties and Then Xi Came Along," 11 May 2020 The song was assertive and bold, an overt challenge to a music industry that demanded that young women only care about boys, dresses, and dates, leaving the thinking to their male counterparts. Anne Cohen,, "The First Wives Club," 2 Apr. 2020 But as the process gets started, much remains to be sorted out, and the chief justice could become more assertive. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Chief Justice John Roberts' impeachment trial role: speak softly, set a good example," 16 Jan. 2020 On the military front, China has become increasingly assertive in the Pacific Ocean in the region. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "Australia’s Fires Test Its Winning Growth Formula," 13 Jan. 2020 But sky-high poll ratings for many state governors on the front line, in New York or Michigan, Washington or Ohio, have left no doubt of the grassroots hunger for assertive, effective, honest, and straightforward government action. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "What is government for? Coronavirus stirs old question anew.," 7 Apr. 2020 She is also known for being assertive, which helps with being able to negotiate without being aggressive. Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor of the Week: Hire a Realtor for buying, selling home," 4 Apr. 2020 That confidence is essentially translating into Keller being more assertive on the ice. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Arizona Coyotes' Clayton Keller can send a message in late-season playoff push," 3 Mar. 2020 For decades, lawmakers in both parties have ceded those powers with little resistance, deferring to an increasingly assertive executive branch. Catie Edmondson, New York Times, "In Bipartisan Bid to Restrain Trump, Senate Passes Iran War Powers Resolution," 13 Feb. 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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Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assertive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 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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