Synonyms & Antonyms of assertive

1 having or showing a bold forcefulness in the pursuit of a goal
  • some reef fish are assertive in defending their territory

Synonyms for assertive

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Antonyms for assertive

2 marked by or uttered with forcefulness
  • after months of assertive declarations that he would not run for president, he announced he was running

Synonyms for assertive

Words Related to assertive

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Antonyms for assertive

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Frequently Asked Questions About assertive

How does the adjective assertive contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of assertive are aggressive, militant, and self-assertive. While all these words mean "obtrusively energetic especially in pursuing particular goals," assertive suggests bold self-confidence in expression of opinion.

the more assertive speakers dominated the forum

When is it sensible to use aggressive instead of assertive?

While the synonyms aggressive and assertive are close in meaning, aggressive implies a disposition to dominate often in disregard of others' rights or in determined and energetic pursuit of one's ends.

aggressive in his business dealings

When is militant a more appropriate choice than assertive?

The meanings of militant and assertive largely overlap; however, militant also implies a fighting disposition but suggests not self-seeking but devotion to a cause, movement, or principle.

militant protesters rallied against the new law

In what contexts can self-assertive take the place of assertive?

While in some cases nearly identical to assertive, self-assertive connotes forwardness or brash self-confidence.

a self-assertive young upstart

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Time Traveler for assertive

Time Traveler

The first known use of assertive was circa 1619

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Cite this Entry

“Assertive.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on assertive

Dictionary: Definition of assertive

Nglish: Translation of assertive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assertive for Arabic Speakers

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