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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 assertiveness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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
  • Moore's had been imploring in its assertiveness, the desire to convince.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • Chief among these one notices the assertiveness of the dogs.

    Le Petit Nord Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding
  • There lurked in it a suggestion of assertiveness, of aggressiveness even.

    Who? Elizabeth Kent
  • Skinner had many original ideas, which, because of a certain lack of assertiveness, he'd never been able to exploit.

    Skinner's Dress Suit Henry Irving Dodge
  • Had his assertiveness, like his compliance, been part and parcel of a mind not at peace, not grounded in a definite faith?

    The Precipice Elia Wilkinson Peattie
  • Charles Lamb, without any difficulty and without the show of assertiveness, would have maintained it better.

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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