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

Jesus, rarely out of the action, endured a mixed evening with the Manchester City star assisting his side's first goal and scoring its second before being dismissed after receiving a second yellow card in the 70th minute. James Masters, CNN, "Copa America: Jair Bolsonaro takes center stage as Brazil seals title," 8 July 2019 One of them is the Health Consumer Alliance (888-804-3536 or, which can assist people in public and private health plans. Bernard J. Wolfson,, "Did your health plan deny you care? You can fight back. Here’s how," 5 July 2019 Search efforts were suspended at 1 a.m. Friday and resumed later in the morning with multiple agencies assisting. Howard Koplowitz |,, "12-year-old girl dead, 2 other children injured in 2nd Smith Lake boating accident in as many days," 5 July 2019 Countries assisting Hifter include Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia. Washington Post, "Airstrike kills 44 migrants in Libyan detention center," 5 July 2019 Currently in mop up phase Copter 106 along with 2 CAL FIRE engines are assisting @SJFD with a vegetation fire on Communications Hill. Thy Vo, The Mercury News, "Crews extinguish vegetation and structure fires in San Jose," 4 July 2019 Countries assisting Hifter include Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia. Samy Magdy,, "Airstrike kills 44 migrants in Libyan detention center," 3 July 2019 Countries assisting Hifter include Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia. Author: Rami Musa, Samy Magdy, Anchorage Daily News, "Airstrike kills 44 migrants in Libyan detention center," 3 July 2019 The 4-step program assists individuals in all stages of recovery by: (1) building and maintaining motivation, (2) coping with urges, (3) managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and (4) living a balanced life., "Calendar: Fourth of July events scheduled all over Lake County," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

During his six years at the club, the former Werder Bremen man has made over 150 league appearances, scoring 32 goals and laying on 56 assists in that time., "Arsenal Prepared to Pay Huge Chunk of Mesut Ozil's Wage to Facilitate Fenerbahce Loan," 9 July 2019 But Rapinoe and Morgan had three assists each in the first tiebreaker to White’s 0. Elliott Almond, The Mercury News, "Megan Rapinoe: ‘I’m not anywhere near to be done’," 7 July 2019 Simons also had four rebounds and a pair of assists but did register six turnovers., "Gary Trent Jr.'s 31 points lead Portland Trail Blazers past Houston Rockets 97-87 in Las Vegas Summer League: Live updates recap," 7 July 2019 The Giants have 20 outfield assists, matching their entire 2018 total. Henry Schulman,, "Giants power their way to fourth straight win, first three-game sweep of 2019," 4 July 2019 Scanlan, who was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year and a second-team All American, also added 15 assists for 58 points, which ranked third among the Greyhounds. Edward Lee,, "Former Loyola Maryland men's lacrosse star Chase Scanlan transferring to Syracuse," 4 July 2019 The forward has now bagged six goals this tournament and remains in pole position to win the golden boot alongside England's Ellen White, who trails Morgan on assists. George Ramsay, CNN, "Alex Morgan taunts British tea-drinking tradition with goal celebration," 3 July 2019 Allie Quigley scored 18 points and Courtney Vandersloot had 12 assists for the Sky (6-7), who dropped all three games on their western road trip and have lost four straight overall., "Sky miss final 10 shots in dropping their 4th straight, 90-82 to the Aces," 2 July 2019 Rubio finished his eighth NBA season averaging 12.7 points on 40.1% shooting and 6.1 assists for the Jazz, who made the playoffs for a second straight year with him at point guard. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Suns to sign veteran point guard Ricky Rubio to three-year, $51 million deal," 30 June 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.

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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

11 Jul 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

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