un·​as·​ser·​tive ˌən-ə-ˈsər-tiv How to pronounce unassertive (audio)
: not assertive : modest, shy
unassertively adverb

Examples of unassertive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shy and unassertive, she’s often been overlooked by others and kept to herself. Yasmine Alsayyad, The New Yorker, 9 Jan. 2023 After a time, Patterson’s play-it-down-the-middle approach feels less like the remembrances of a Renaissance man and more like evasive, unassertive hedging. Mark Athitakis, Washington Post, 6 June 2022 The sun, only rarely in evidence behind gray clouds, set quickly and bade us an unassertive farewell. Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2022 My own thoughts have been along the line of weak, unassertive, super humble and timid. Glenna Christensen, idahostatesman, 14 June 2018 Meryl Streep stars as Post owner Katherine Graham, an unassertive socialite who normally follows the journalistic lead of her editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks, playing it too cute). John Powers, Vogue, 13 Dec. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unassertive.' 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

1861, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unassertive was in 1861

Dictionary Entries Near unassertive

Cite this Entry

“Unassertive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unassertive. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​as·​ser·​tive ˌən-ə-ˈsərt-iv How to pronounce unassertive (audio)
: not assertive : modest, shy

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