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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
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for assertive
  • This game demands teamwork and teamwork demands strong, assertive, and focused leadership.
  • They're all quintessential trophy cars — sporty, assertive and flamboyant.
  • But be assertive, rather than aggressive.
  • So one lesson is the need for stronger editors, more assertive editors to perform the role they're supposed to.
  • Democratic leaders were largely conciliatory, saying this is a time to bridge differences, yet were still assertive.
  • The poet's assertive exploration of personal and political material is always engaging.
  • She was prickly and often defensive, assertive and opinionated.
  • The precocious child became a brash and assertive adult.
  • Judicial minimalism is gone, and the court has entered an assertive and sometimes unpredictable phase.
  • No nasty noises, only a gruffness that grew assertive as more throttle was applied.
British Dictionary definitions for assertive


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 assertive

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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