over·​as·​sert | \ ˌō-vər-ə-ˈsərt How to pronounce overassert (audio) \
overasserted; overasserting

Definition of overassert

transitive verb

: to assert (something) too much or too strongly: such as
a : to state or declare (something) positively and too forcefully or aggressively He gives us facts without attempting to overassert psychological or social-historical interpretation.— Richard Matthews Sitting together in front of a webcam, the girls show off their fashion designer friend's T-shirts, give "shout-outs" to fans, and overassert the legitimacy of their friendship.— Christopher Kelly
b : to assert (something, such as one's authority) to an excessive degree or extent … the Declaration of Independence … with its condemnations of a government that overasserted its powers and usurped due process …The San Francisco Chronicle Sen. Jim Battin, R-Palm Desert … "heard from a number of tribal leaders that the commission is attempting to overassert its regulatory authority."The Modesto (California) Bee
c : to demonstrate the existence of (something) too conspicuously Ghirri's favored palette is pale, soothing, often tending toward pastel, as if the images did not wish to speak too loudly or overassert their presence.— Teju Cole Overly (and overtly) referential, Mr. Bern writes songs … with signifiers and self-satisfied winks in every line. Instead of adding layers, this tendency to overassert his lineage is annoying— Seth Mnookin
overassert oneself
1 : to speak or act too forcefully or aggressively Many officers see disrespect as a threat, not just to their job performance, but sometimes to their lives. For them, choosing to dominate testy citizens without overasserting themselves is not only an art but an attitude.— Deborah Sontag and Dan Barry Yet there was a delicate balance. As a new guy, he didn't want to overassert himself. But given his position, he couldn't remain completely silent.— Patrick Stevens
2 : to become too strongly apparent It contributes to the architecture by lightening the massive effect of the facade. It does its architectural duty without overasserting itself— William Wilson

Other Words from overassert

overassertion \ ˌō-​vər-​ə-​ˈsər-​shən How to pronounce overassert (audio) \ noun, plural overassertions
I decided that this was pompous, an overassertion, so I changed the sentence in what I imagined to be a more humble direction. — Robert Trivers But the self is not as important as it was before: now one is someone's mother and that is what counts. This is the opposite result to the overassertion of one's own importance. — Juliet Mitchell

First Known Use of overassert

1811, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of overassert was in 1811

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Cite this Entry

“Overassert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overassert. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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