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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for assist

Synonyms: Verb

abet, aid, back, backstop, help, prop (up), support

Synonyms: Noun

abetment, aid, assistance, backing, boost, hand, help, helping hand, leg up, lift, support

Antonyms: Verb


Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of assist in a Sentence


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In May 2015, four MV-22s self-deployed from the Japanese island of Okinawa in the Pacific to Nepal to assist in earthquake recovery efforts, covering a distance of more than 2,500 miles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "V-22 Osprey: The Story of the Revolutionary Tiltrotor Aircraft," 8 Feb. 2019 For the past 15 years, this organization has raised over $5 million to assist people displaced by fires and support them with mental health services. Maggie Mallon, Glamour, "Here's How You Can Help Victims of the California Wildfires," 12 Nov. 2018 According to an affidavit in the case filed against Perez, police were looking for a suspect when Guyger and another officer were called to assist a third. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Female Dallas cop who killed man in his home charged with manslaughter," 2 Oct. 2018 The bill also instructs several government agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, to prioritize funding to assist businesses that will have to change their technology as a result of the ban. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Trump signs bill banning government use of Huawei and ZTE tech," 13 Aug. 2018 Grief counselors will be made available at Teaneck High School to assist members of the community in coping with the tragedy. CBS News, "New details emerge after N.J. mom survives crash that killed husband, 4 daughters," 9 July 2018 Top divers from around the world descended on remote Chiang Rai to assist a team of highly skilled Thai SEALS. Will Bunch,, "The world shows its love to kids in a Thai cave. We need that same love for kids at the border | Will Bunch," 8 July 2018 The Leicester striker sustained a groin injury in the victory over Colombia and required an injection immediately after to assist in his recovery - with the 31-year-old a major doubt for the clash in Samara., "England Handed Harry Kane Boost But Others Remain Major Injury Doubts for Sweden Clash," 5 July 2018 The American Red Cross was called in to assist the residents of both homes, Mayo said. Pamela Wood,, "About 70 firefighters battle Arnold townhouse fire on Wednesday," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Rayshaun Hammonds had nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists. John Zenor, The Seattle Times, "Harper, No. 11 Auburn rebound with 93-78 win over Georgia," 12 Jan. 2019 James is our celebrity sommelier, the Orson Welles of his time—if Orson Welles had been averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists, instead of bugging people at dinner parties about Paul Masson. Jason Gay, WSJ, "I Won’t Whine About LeBron’s Wine," 3 Jan. 2019 Doucoure impressed greatly during that time, and continued to shine throughout the campaign, scoring seven goals and providing four assists in 37 league appearances., "Watford Reject Everton's €30m Bid for Star Player as Toffees Look to Bolster Midfield Squad Depth," 13 July 2018 Gilgeous-Alexander, taken 11th overall in June’s draft, had 13 points and four assists in the Clippers’ 77- 71 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Broderick Turner,, "Clippers rookies have solid outing in Summer League debuts," 7 July 2018 Mack averaged about seven points and four assists last season, backing up D.J. Augustin as the Magic’s point guard. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "With free-agent guards dwindling, here are 2 remaining options for Charlotte Hornets," 4 July 2018 Fellow rookie Kelsey Mitchell couldn’t find her shot and finished with just three points, but did contribute four assists. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Inconsistent play again spells doom for Indiana Fever," 1 July 2018 McNeal, the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,985 points, tallied nine points, eight rebounds and four assists. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Golden Eagles Alumni band together for opening win in The Basketball Tournament," 30 June 2018 Curry had a strong finish as well: 37 points (seven-of-15 from three-point range), six rebounds, four assists. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "Kevin Durant wins Finals MVP for second consecutive year," 9 June 2018

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.

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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

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Learn More about assist

Dictionary Entries near assist






assistance dog


Statistics for assist

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assist

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

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More Definitions for assist



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on assist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with assist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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