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[uh-sur-tiv] /əˈsɜr tɪv/
confidently aggressive or self-assured; positive: aggressive; dogmatic:
He is too assertive as a salesman.
having a distinctive or pronounced taste or aroma.
Origin of assertive
First recorded in 1555-65; assert + -ive
Related forms
assertively, adverb
assertiveness, noun
nonassertive, adjective
nonassertively, adverb
nonassertiveness, noun
overassertive, adjective
overassertively, adverb
overassertiveness, noun
pseudoassertive, adjective
pseudoassertively, adverb
unassertive, adjective
unassertively, adverb
unassertiveness, noun
1. forceful, decisive, forward. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for assertiveness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Moore's had been imploring in its assertiveness, the desire to convince.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • For all his assertiveness in matters of opinion he is not an intrusive person.

    Notes on My Books Joseph Conrad
  • Flourishes are always indicative of a certain amount of assertiveness.

    The Detection of Forgery Douglas Blackburn
  • There lurked in it a suggestion of assertiveness, of aggressiveness even.


    Elizabeth Kent
  • Chief among these one notices the assertiveness of the dogs.

    Le Petit Nord

    Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding
  • Even Uncle Peter, whom he had come warmly to admire, jarred upon him with his crudity and his Western assertiveness.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • His assertiveness was compelling, and even the captain displayed symptoms of being impressed.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
British Dictionary definitions for assertiveness


confident and direct in claiming one's rights or putting forward one's views
given to making assertions or bold demands; dogmatic or aggressive
Derived Forms
assertively, adverb
assertiveness, noun
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 assertiveness

"tendency toward self-assertion," 1881, from assertive + -ness.



1560s, "declaratory, positive, full of assertion," from assert + -ive. Meaning "insisting on one's rights" is short for self-assertive (1865).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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