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

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Other Words from assert

assertible \ ə-​ˈsər-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce assert (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web At a Pentagon news conference Wednesday, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the future of Afghanistan is in the hands of the Afghan people, urging them to assert their will on the battlefield. Robert Burns, Star Tribune, 22 July 2021 All-Star scored 16 points in the quarter to assert his will on the game. Ben Morse, CNN, 7 July 2021 The ruling came after Kesha's counsel asked the court's permission to assert a new counterclaim and cited an anti-SLAPP law that was passed last year to protect free speech from frivolous lawsuits. Gabrielle Chung, PEOPLE.com, 1 July 2021 The Biden administration is leading a campaign against Russian attempts to assert authority over Arctic shipping and reintroduce a military dimension to discussions over international activity in the area. Matthew Lee, Anchorage Daily News, 20 May 2021 When Zola does choose to assert herself and make her feelings known — ‘This is messy! Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2021 When the high school season began, Johnson, 6 feet 11 and 210 pounds, was ready to assert himself against the top competition New Jersey could offer. Dom Amore, courant.com, 2 July 2021 In the first big battle between the main contenders — a 16.9-mile test against the clock coming early in the race — Pogacar reigned supreme, powering to victory to assert himself as the favorite at the showcase event. BostonGlobe.com, 30 June 2021 However, that is going to have to change if the Vikings are finally going to assert themselves. Steve Silverman, Forbes, 29 June 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for assert

Time Traveler

The first known use of assert was circa 1604

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Dictionary Entries Near assert

assentingly

assert

assertation

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Statistics for assert

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Assert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assert. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for assert

assert

verb

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 Magic, the papers asserted, was worthy of study.— Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon
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.

assert

transitive verb
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 assert (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on assert

Nglish: Translation of assert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assert for Arabic Speakers

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