as·​sev·​er·​ate ə-ˈse-və-ˌrāt How to pronounce asseverate (audio)
asseverated; asseverating

transitive verb

: to affirm or declare positively or earnestly
he always asseverated that he did not knowG. K. Chesterton
asseveration noun
asseverative adjective

Did you know?

In a 2001 essay in The New York Times, novelist Elmore Leonard warned writers against using any verb other than "said" to carry dialogue, describing how an encounter with asseverated once compelled him to stop reading in order to consult a dictionary. We don't think that interruption for dictionary consultation is a bad thing, but we do acknowledge that asseverate is little more than a fancy word meaning "to assert or declare." It was formed in Latin from the prefix ad- ("to, toward") and the verb severare, a relative of the adjective severus, meaning "serious or severe," and has been used in English since the 17th century. Nowadays, asseverate is found mostly in the works of authors long dead. It's also occasionally employed by those who like to show off their vocabularies.

Word History


Latin asseveratus, past participle of asseverare, from ad- + severus severe

First Known Use

1642, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of asseverate was in 1642


Dictionary Entries Near asseverate

Cite this Entry

“Asseverate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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