Unassertive refers to a person who lacks confidence and doesn’t assert their opinions, needs, or desires in a clear and direct manner.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



timid, meek, unconfident, shy, passive, reserved, introverted, reticent, diffident, unassuming.


Assertive, confident, bold, decisive, outgoing, extroverted, expressive, forceful, dynamic, self-assured.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun unassertivenesses, unassertiveness
Verb None
Adjective unassertive
Adverb unassertively

Example Sentences

  • Sarah’s unassertive nature made it difficult for her to negotiate a higher salary with her boss.

  • The unassertive behavior of the team captain resulted in a lack of direction and poor teamwork.

  • Despite having brilliant ideas, Michael remained unassertive in meetings and let others take credit for his work.

  • Jane’s unassertive personality made her vulnerable to being taken advantage of by others.


The word ‘unassertive’ is an adjective that is commonly used to describe a person’s behavior or personality trait. It is formed by adding the prefix ‘un-’ meaning ’not’ to the adjective ‘assertive,’ which means having a confident and forceful personality or behavior. Thus, ‘unassertive’ refers to someone who does not exhibit or lacks assertiveness.

The word ‘unassertive’ typically carries a negative connotation as it suggests a lack of confidence, assertiveness, or ability to stand up for oneself. It is often used to describe people who struggle to express their opinions or who tend to be passive in confrontational situations. Such people may have difficulty communicating their needs and desires or making decisions, which can affect their personal and professional lives.

There are a few variations of the word ‘unassertive’ that have similar meanings. For instance, the word ‘submissive’ means tending to submit or yield to the will of others without resistance, which is akin to being unassertive. Similarly, the word ‘shy’ refers to a person who is timid or hesitant in social situations, which can manifest as an unassertive or passive behavior.

In conclusion, the word ‘unassertive’ is used to describe someone who lacks confidence, assertiveness, or the ability to stand up for oneself. It is typically used to describe a negative trait or behavior and can be accompanied by other words such as submissive or shy.