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[uh-surt] /əˈsɜrt/
verb (used with object)
to state with assurance, confidence, or force; state strongly or positively; affirm; aver:
He asserted his innocence of the crime.
to maintain or defend (claims, rights, etc.).
to state as having existence; affirm; postulate:
to assert a first cause as necessary.
assert oneself, to insist on one's rights, declare one's views forcefully, etc.:
The candidate finally asserted himself about property taxes.
Origin of assert
1595-1605; < Latin assertus joined to, defended, claimed (past participle of asserere), equivalent to as- as- + ser- (see series) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
asserter, assertor, noun
assertible, adjective
misassert, verb (used with object)
overassert, verb (used with object)
preassert, verb (used with object)
reassert, verb (used with object)
1. asseverate, avow, maintain. 2. uphold, support.
1. deny.
Synonym Study
1. See declare. 2. See maintain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for assert
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They have begun so cruelly with me, that I have not spirit enough to assert my own negative.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • More, he dared believe, and to assert boldly, that she loved him.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • It was an insult to the divine powers to assert that they had taken the part of a race horse.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • All admit or assert that the lance is in this warfare the better weapon.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • But be your resolution what it will, do not by any means repeat to them, that you will not assert your right.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
British Dictionary definitions for assert


verb (transitive)
to insist upon (rights, claims, etc)
(may take a clause as object) to state to be true; declare categorically
to put (oneself) forward in an insistent manner
Derived Forms
asserter, assertor, noun
assertible, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin asserere to join to oneself, from serere to join
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for assert

c.1600, "declare," from Latin assertus, past participle of asserere "claim, maintain, affirm" (see assertion). Related: Asserted; asserting. To assert oneself "stand up for one's rights" is recorded from 1879.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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