Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definition

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] American English pronunciation: assert /əˈsɜrt/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participleasserting
past tenseasserted
past participleasserted
  1. 1
    to state firmly that something is true

    He has continued to assert his innocence.

    assert (that):

    The governor asserted that no more money would be available.

    1. a.
      to speak or behave in a firm, confident way

      She always manages to assert her point of view.

      assert yourself (=to state your opinion firmly and confidently):

      Don't be so shy – you need to learn to assert yourself.

  2. 2
    to claim that you have the right to do something or behave in a particular way

    This system discourages people from asserting their rights in court.

    He quickly asserted his authority as a leader.

    It's hard for shy people to assert themselves in a group.

  3. 3
    if a fact, idea, or tendency asserts itself, it begins to influence someone or something

    After a while her old bad habits began to assert themselves.

property porn

a type of television programme, magazine article, etc which shows off desirable homes …

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


to kill someone in a violent way

Open Dictionary

flat design

a type of design used on the web which excludes features which give a three-dimensional effect … and uses simple styles

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog