self-as·​ser·​tion ˌself-ə-ˈsər-shən How to pronounce self-assertion (audio)
: the act of asserting oneself or one's own rights, claims, or opinions
: the act of asserting one's superiority over others

Examples of self-assertion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This vision of identity as plural means that self-assertion does not necessarily come at the expense of the rest of the world. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2023 But with this bottom-up self-assertion has come the bile that so terrified the founders of modern India. Vinay Sitapati, Foreign Affairs, 24 Nov. 2021 This stark reality is made painfully real in the flashes of regret that cross Ali’s face and in the occasional bursts of defiant self-assertion that Fetchit, to his credit, doesn’t always walk back. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2023 This was a recognizably Trumpian bit of ego rehab and self-assertion, after a recognizably Trumpian transgression. Dan Greene, The New Yorker, 31 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-assertion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1805, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-assertion was in 1805

Dictionary Entries Near self-assertion

Cite this Entry

“Self-assertion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the act of asserting oneself or one's own rights or claims
: the act of asserting that one is better than others

More from Merriam-Webster on self-assertion

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