Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To state or express positively; affirm: asserted his innocence.
  • transitive v. To defend or maintain (one's rights, for example).
  • idiom assert oneself To act boldly or forcefully, especially in defending one's rights or stating an opinion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an assert statement; a section of source code which tests whether an expected condition is true.
  • v. To declare with assurance or plainly and strongly; to state positively.
  • v. To use or exercise and thereby prove the existence of.
  • v. To maintain or defend, as a cause or a claim, by words or measures; to vindicate a claim or title to; as, to assert our rights and liberties.
  • v. to make true; to make equal to 1.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To affirm; to declare with assurance, or plainly and strongly; to state positively; to aver; to asseverate.
  • transitive v. To maintain; to defend.
  • transitive v. To maintain or defend, as a cause or a claim, by words or measures; to vindicate a claim or title to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bring (into freedom); set (free).
  • To vindicate, maintain, or defend by words or measures; support the cause or claims of; vindicate a claim or title to: now used only of immaterial objects or reflexively: as, to assert our rights and liberties; he asserted himself boldly.
  • To state as true; affirm; asseverate; aver; declare.
  • Syn. 2. Assert, Defend, Maintain, Vindicate, Assert supports a cause or claim aggressively: its meaning is well brought out in the expression, assert yourself; that is, make your influence felt. To defend is primarily to drive back assaults. To maintain is to hold up to the full amount, defending from diminution: as, to maintain the ancient customs, liberties, rights. To vindicate is to rescue, as from diminution, dishonor, or censure: as, to “vindicate the ways of God to man,”
  • Assert, Affirm, Declare, Aver, Asseverate (see declare), allege, protest, avow, lay down. (See protest.) Assert seems to expect doubt or contradiction of what one says. Affirm strengthens a statement by resting it upon one's reputation for knowledge or veracity: as, “she constantly affirmed that it was even so,” Acts xii. 15. Declare makes public, clear, or emphatic, especially against contradiction. Aver is positive and peremptory. Asseverate is positive and solemn.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. assert to be true
  • v. state categorically
  • v. to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true
  • v. insist on having one's opinions and rights recognized

Etymologies

Latin asserere, assert- : ad-, ad- + serere, to join.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin assertus, perfect passive participle of asserō ("declare someone free or a slave by laying hands upon him; hence free from, protect, defend; lay claim to, assert, declare"), from ad ("to") + serō ("join, range in a row"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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