as·​sist | \ ə-ˈsist How to pronounce assist (audio) \
assisted; assisting; assists

Definition of assist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give usually supplementary support or aid to She assisted the boy with his lessons.

intransitive verb

1 : to give support or aid assisted at the stove Another surgeon assisted on the operation.
2 : to be present as a spectator … the ideal figures assisting at Italian holy scenes.— Mary McCarthy



Definition of assist (Entry 2 of 2)

1 US : an act or action that helps someone : an act of assistance He wrote the story with an assist from a friend. [=with the help of a friend]
2 : the action (such as a throw or pass) of a player who enables a teammate to make a putout (as in baseball) or score a goal (as in basketball or hockey) also : official credit given for such an action was credited with 5 assists in the first half
3 : a mechanical or electromechanical device that provides assistance

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for assist

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of assist in a Sentence

Verb The device assists those who can't climb stairs. The President was assisted by his advisers. She assisted the boy with his homework. Another doctor assisted him with the operation. Another doctor assisted with the operation. Federal agents are assisting with the investigation. She assisted in making the decision. The cream assists in the prevention of skin cancer.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Barnhart will serve as CEO Emeritus and assist with the recruitment of the new CEO. Ashley Remkus |, al, "After 9 years at the helm, CEO of U.S. Space & Rocket Center stepping down," 5 Dec. 2019 After the conference, Griffith began formulating plans to facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrency between North and South Korea, despite knowing that assisting with that exchange would violate sanctions. Fox News, "American cryptocurrency expert charged with helping North Korea evade US sanctions: DOJ," 3 Dec. 2019 All of the animals will be transferred to a nonprofit called Mattersville in Sedalia to assist with their programs. Stephanie Butzer, The Denver Post, "Wolf sanctuary, rehabilitation center in Guffey to close its doors at end of 2019," 3 Dec. 2019 Wanting to go back to his British roots, Simon tapped his sister-in-law and stylist, Annie Miall, and stylist Daniel Johnson to assist him in creating a bespoke suiting on Savile Row for the occasion. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chris Hessney & Simon Miall's Three-Day Wedding in Italy Was a "Wicked Party"—Not a Wedding," 2 Dec. 2019 Police from France, Britain, Germany and Serbia assisted Italian authorities with the operation. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian, "Authorities Recover 10,000 Artifacts Stolen by International Antiquities Trafficking Ring," 23 Nov. 2019 The government assisted her with two windows and a door, but the 64-year-old mostly credits her neighbors with helping restore her home. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "This Caribbean island is on track to become the world’s first 'hurricane-proof' country," 19 Nov. 2019 Add Aspen and Snowmass to the list of ski areas moving up their opening days thanks to great early snowfall and cold temperatures that have assisted snowmaking operations. John Meyer, The Know, "Aspen Snowmass opening early, lifts running this weekend," 18 Nov. 2019 Whether President Trump sought to condition official acts, such as a White House meeting or U.S. military assistance, on Ukraine’s willingness to assist with two political investigations that would help his reëlection campaign. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Two Irreconcilable Realities of the Impeachment Hearings," 14 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The right-handed defenseman has five assists in 30 games this season playing alongside captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the Coyotes' top defense pair. Richard Morin, azcentral, "In hunt for playoffs, Arizona Coyotes must now replicate road success on home ice," 10 Dec. 2019 In Sunday’s overtime win against Chicago, Butler made 17 of 21 free throws and had two big assists to Tyler Herro in the end. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde10: Ten Monday thoughts of a Dolphins-centric Sunday," 9 Dec. 2019 The Rockets are also 5-1 when Westbrook has at least 10 assists. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "James Harden: Russell Westbrook’s adjustment with Rockets might take 'whole year'," 8 Dec. 2019 Macdonald totaled seven points and had seven assists against one turnovers in 33 minutes of playing time. Anchorage Daily News, "Buzzer-beating 3-pointer boosts Seawolves to overtime victory," 8 Dec. 2019 Joonas Donskoi had two assists and Mark Barberio, Nathan MacKinnon and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare one apiece. Mike Chambers, The Denver Post, "Avs lose Philipp Grubauer and Cale Makar to injuries but defeat Bruins, 4-1, for sixth consecutive victory," 7 Dec. 2019 Westbrook had 11 assists, but made just 7 of 27 shots with eight turnovers. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets shoot through latest James Harden-swarming defense," 6 Dec. 2019 Back from last year’s broken leg, sophomore Sophia Smith tallied a hat trick, senior Carly Malatskey had a goal, and junior Madison Haley had two assists as Stanford upped its program-record scoring total to 102 goals on the season. Rusty Simmons,, "Stanford earns national title shot with dominating Women’s College Cup semis win," 6 Dec. 2019 Scott added five rebounds, Malagar had four assists. Jacob Calvin Meyer,, "Valentine scores 1,000th point in Mt. Hebron girls basketball’s loss to Reservoir," 6 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of assist


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assist

Verb and Noun

Middle French or Latin; Middle French assister to help, stand by, from Latin assistere, from ad- + sistere to cause to stand; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about assist

Time Traveler for assist

Time Traveler

The first known use of assist was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for assist

Last Updated

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Assist.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for assist


How to pronounce assist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of assist

: to give support or help : to make it easier for someone to do something or for something to happen


as·​sist | \ ə-ˈsist How to pronounce assist (audio) \
assisted; assisting

Kids Definition of assist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to give support or help He assisted his mother in preparing dinner.



Kids Definition of assist (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of supporting or helping I finished my chores with an assist from my friends.
as·​sist | \ ə-ˈsist How to pronounce assist (audio) \

Medical Definition of assist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to give usually supplementary support or aid to assist the patient up the stairs assist respiration mechanically

intransitive verb

: to give support or aid



Medical Definition of assist (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or procedure that provides assistance external pressure circulatory assist employs compression of the lower extremities— P. W. Wright

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on assist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for assist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with assist

Spanish Central: Translation of assist

Nglish: Translation of assist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assist for Arabic Speakers

Comments on assist

What made you want to look up assist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


delight or enjoyment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!