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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for assert in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


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).



assert (plural asserts)

  1. (computer science) an assertion; a section of source code which tests whether an expected condition is true.




assert (third-person singular simple present asserts, present participle asserting, simple past and past participle asserted)

  1. To declare with assurance or plainly and strongly; to state positively.
    • 2012 March-April, Colin Allen, “Do I See What You See?”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 168:
      Numerous experimental tests and other observations have been offered in favor of animal mind reading, and although many scientists are skeptical, others assert that humans are not the only species capable of representing what others do and don’t perceive and know.
    he would often assert his beliefs to us
  2. To use or exercise and thereby prove the existence of.
    to assert one's authority
    Salman Rushdie has asserted his right ... to be identified as the author of this work
  3. To maintain or defend, as a cause or a claim, by words or measures; to vindicate a claim or title to
    to assert our rights and liberties
    The quasi-judicial pre-grant process of asserting patent rights and appeals procedures during patent examination; 'to assert' patent rights means to defend or maintain patent rights.
  4. (programming) To specify that a condition or expression is true at a certain point in the code.


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assert m (plural asserts)

  1. (programming) assert (conditional statement that checks the validity of a value)