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 assertible (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

His 1988 paper asserting that Morton's measurements were reasonably accurate, however, was largely dismissed. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "There’s new evidence confirming bias of the “father of scientific racism”," 4 Oct. 2018 There's even one bold stan who asserts that the bright beauty look pops better on Ashley than on Rih. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Makeup Artist Alissa Ashley Recreated Rihanna's Vogue Cover and the Resemblance Is Uncanny," 8 Aug. 2018 But private landowners have become more adamant about restricting access to water on their property in order to assert their claim to the minerals underneath it. Sara Sneath, NOLA.com, "As Louisiana's coast washes away, state cashing in on disputed oil and gas rights," 31 May 2018 Backers of the legislation are intent on loosening the restraints on them, asserting that would boost lending and the economy. Marcy Gordon, Houston Chronicle, "Trump eager to sign bill rolling back Dodd-Frank regulations," 23 May 2018 The ad also asserts Rauner profited from the firm Correct Care Solutions. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "Rauner calls Pritzker attack ad about Trump immigration policy 'dishonest'," 11 July 2018 Now, another quality- of-life list asserts that things are still bad down here at the bottom of the Sunshine State. Linda Robertson, miamiherald, "Where are the worst places to live in the U.S.? Three of them are in Miami-Dade.," 19 June 2018 In January, Orben published a paper asserting that screen time was no stronger a risk factor for adolescent depression than eating potatoes or wearing eyeglasses. Jessica Wapner, SELF, "How Worried Do You Really Need to Be About Your Screen Time?," 7 Feb. 2019 In court filings, officials at the detention facility denied all the allegations of physical abuse, which the lawsuit asserts happened between 2015 to 2018, during both the Obama and Trump administrations. CBS News, "Some young immigrants at detention center cope through poetry," 22 June 2018

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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Statistics for assert

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assert

The first known use of assert was circa 1604

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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 assert an opinion
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.
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 assertion (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on assert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with assert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for assert

Spanish Central: Translation of assert

Nglish: Translation of assert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assert for Arabic Speakers

Comments on assert

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a strong desire or propensity

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