Definition of assert in English:



  • 1[reporting verb] State a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.

    [with clause] ‘the company asserts that the cuts will not affect development’
    [with object] ‘he asserted his innocence’
    [with direct speech] ‘“I don't know why she came,” he asserted’
    • ‘What can be asserted reasonably from the facts as we know them, is that they were a devoted couple.’
    • ‘There are few principles so precious as that which asserts that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.’
    • ‘Instead, he asserts that we are in fact so entrenched in ideology that it is difficult to even distinguish its parameters.’
    • ‘Science is beginning to understand what is going on in our genes, he asserts, and few things about the human condition will ever be the same again.’
    • ‘The claim asserts that this is too fast and does not enable an applicant to have a fair chance of putting forward his claim properly.’
    • ‘This essay asserts that there are, in fact, two phenomena that need to be examined.’
    • ‘In order to establish that contention the applicants assert they have no need to rely upon any statutory underpinning.’
    • ‘He confidently asserts that the tapes are not faked, and that the vocal range is too broad to be made by a human.’
    • ‘Neither does he explicitly assert that our natural beliefs are true.’
    • ‘The coal industry should be privately funding these studies, the consumer group asserts.’
    • ‘I would however assert that the belief in absolute truth requires an attempt to follow it as best as possible.’
    • ‘All other vine varieties, Pliny asserts confidently, are imports from Greece.’
    • ‘Failure to do so, he asserts, would be a Doomsday scenario.’
    • ‘The appellant asserts that the building was uninhabitable when he moved in, and that to return it to that state would be a retrograde step.’
    • ‘Had there been concerns about any aspect of the process it can confidently be asserted that they would have found expression.’
    • ‘The other response is to assert that the supremacy is in fact the solution to the despair.’
    • ‘Are the parents asserting a religious belief or conviction?’
    • ‘That is, is there any constitutional fact which is asserted about time limits, time element or the like?’
    • ‘The claimants assert that their claims should also have been settled.’
    • ‘These types of beliefs, he asserts, are closely connected to languages and texts.’
    declare, maintain, contend, argue, state, claim, propound, submit, posit, postulate, adduce, move, advocate, venture, volunteer, aver, proclaim, announce, pronounce, attest, affirm, protest, profess, swear, insist, avow
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Cause others to recognize (one's authority or a right) by confident and forceful behavior.
      ‘the good librarian is able to assert authority when required’
      • ‘What would have happened if the Thai authorities had asserted their jurisdiction over the offence here?’
      • ‘It is a little bit frightening how broadly he asserts his authority as commander in chief.’
      • ‘That way you assert your authority, but your colleagues don't think you're a git.’
      • ‘Throughout history, wars have been followed by ritualised attempts to assert legal authority.’
      • ‘Even if copyright expires, the court ruled, common law can be applied to assert the rights of the original owner.’
      • ‘How strong are you in the face of someone trying to assert authority over you through their verbal abuse?’
      • ‘I hope they realize that simply asserting authority doesn't necessarily make us any safer.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the Roman Church was at the same time asserting its rights and privileges with a new energy.’
      • ‘Now others are asserting their constitutional rights.’
      • ‘The rights were asserted as fundamental entitlements recognized by the international community.’
      • ‘He takes them on a fishing trip to a remote island, cruelly asserting his authority en route.’
      • ‘The prison officers, though clearly asserting their authority, treated the prisoners with respect.’
      • ‘At a later stage, the tenant was able to assert his rights to possession of the land against anyone who dispossessed him.’
      • ‘They come to court to assert their rights, not to exercise some form of consumer choice.’
      • ‘They are conducted in order to assert authority and extend influence.’
      • ‘When women can assert human rights against them, through a law they can use themselves, women will have a right to a place in the world.’
      • ‘No, but the appellants are not asserting an exclusive right to make decisions with respect to the land, even in their notice of appeal.’
      • ‘They will allow people to assert their rights to fair use over copyright materials.’
      • ‘For his era, he's no different from anyone else: what a father did to assert his authority was take his belt off.’
      • ‘But surely if any religious creed is to have validity it has to assert its authority over science?’
      insist on, stand up for, uphold, defend, contend, establish, press for, push for, stress
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Behave or speak in a confident and forceful manner.
      ‘it was time to assert himself’
      • ‘Is feminity only about asserting yourself as woman when you find yourself left behind in a swirl of progressive women?’
      • ‘As big, tall people, we gave no thought to asserting ourselves.’
      • ‘These classes have been a source of great entertainment for the youth of the area and have resulted in many a shy child getting the confidence to assert themselves.’
      • ‘They are fearful of asserting themselves on the world stage without the approval of the United Nations.’
      • ‘The first wave of feminism demanded that women seek equal rights by asserting themselves in the workforce.’
      • ‘Please stay the nice person that you are, but learn also to assert yourself and to speak up for yourself.’
      • ‘Women are increasingly asserting themselves.’
      • ‘For a moment or two he felt unsure himself, but then his deeply rooted confidence in himself asserted itself once again.’
      • ‘I spent a lot of time following, and not always enough time asserting myself.’
      • ‘I am very glad to see women rightfully asserting themselves in the labor movement.’
      • ‘These are also paradoxically anti-modernist moments, when a belief in literature's power of ethical persuasion asserts itself over market-based utility values.’
      • ‘Speak clearly, compellingly, and without reluctance; assert yourself as a direct leader.’
      • ‘Since then, it has been speaking out widely on shareholder rights and urging investors to assert themselves.’
      • ‘A peculiar bug - like the last few colds I've had, it's timid and unsure, and never asserts itself beyond a few basic symptoms.’
      • ‘The cattle would have been used for a dowry so it is in ways like that she asserts herself as an independent woman.’
      • ‘As a shy person, did you have problems asserting yourself in the group?’
      • ‘Likewise, democracy empowers disaffected minorities to speak out and assert themselves along ethnic, religious, or tribal lines.’
      • ‘If you don't assert yourself with confidence, then you'll be manipulated as a puppet of society.’
      • ‘I believe that this camp will assert itself more and more forcefully in the coming months as it finds itself increasingly the object of focus for the two other camps.’
      • ‘In the decade since then, the possibility of the courts asserting themselves against parliament in an appropriate case has been significantly strengthened.’
      behave confidently, speak confidently, be assertive, put oneself forward, make one's presence felt, exert one's influence, make people sit up and take notice, make people sit up and listen
      put one's foot down
      View synonyms


Early 17th century: from Latin asserere claim, affirm from ad- to + serere to join.