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

When advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch were searching the camps for survivors of war crimes, Ullah assisted researchers by going from hut to hut, building a tally of killings, rapes and arsons. Vidya Krishnan, Los Angeles Times, "‘We live like animals': Refugee leader gives Rohingya a voice," 16 Sep. 2019 Our involvement in this was assisting the kids in crossing the street and making sure traffic was going slow. John Benson,, "Parma City Schools successfully holds districtwide active shooter drill," 16 Sep. 2019 Rose Quartz assists in relationships, aligns the chakras and heals etheric fields, all while resonating with pure heart centered love. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Jhene Aiko Soothes the Anxious Mind With Meditative 'Trigger Protection Mantra': Listen," 13 Sep. 2019 The Red Cross was assisting those displaced by the fire. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Heavy thunderstorms prompt sewage overflow, at least one fire, flooding and power outages early Friday," 13 Sep. 2019 The 22-year-old assisted the first of Jamie Vardy's goals and was a constant menace down the left hand side, combining effectively with the similarly returning Harvey Barnes., "Man Utd vs Leicester: A Combined XI Ahead of Saturday's Clash," 13 Sep. 2019 Mikita played for the Hawks for his entire 22-year career from 1959-80 and holds franchise records for points (1,467), assists (926) and games played (1,396). Jimmy Greenfield,, "Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita had the degenerative brain disease CTE, study finds," 13 Sep. 2019 Weymouth 6, Walpole 0 — Sophomore forward Caio Soares scored two goals and assisted on another, helping the Wildcats improve to 2-1., "In a matchup of Bay State Conference unbeatens, the 11th-ranked Needham girls’ volleyball team took care of business on Thursday against No. 19 Milton with a 3-0 sweep that handed the previously unbeaten Wildcats (3-1) their first loss of the season.," 13 Sep. 2019 DeFazio will assist defensive coordinator Tim Puls with the defense and man-down units. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Timonium’s Becca Meyers wins gold, sets world record at World Para Swimming Championships," 9 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ben Santos, Concord-Carlisle — The midfielder tallied nine goals and two assists as a junior and is primed for a breakout senior campaign. Matt Doherty,, "EMass. boys’ soccer preview: Players to watch," 2 Sep. 2019 Wagner’s Trinidie Davis notched 10 kills, 18 assists and 23 digs as the Thunderbirds rallied to defeat Harlandale in five sets in a District 26-5A opener. Terrence Thomas,, "Volleyball: E-N rankings, top players," 2 Sep. 2019 Valeri has tallied seven goals and a career-high 15 assists this season. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake: Players to watch, TV channel, how to watch live stream online," 29 Aug. 2019 Heath has tallied two goals and two assists in just eight appearances this year. Jamie Goldberg,, "Portland Thorns vs. Chicago Red Stars: Players to watch, TV channel, how to watch live stream online," 23 Aug. 2019 With a goal and two assists Sunday, Vela leads the league in both categories. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Soccer! LAFC’s season is one of total domination," 13 Aug. 2019 In January, Macura scored his first NBA field goal in the Hornets' loss to the Dallas Mavericks and finished with four points with two rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes. Dave Clark,, "J.P. Macura, Cleveland Cavaliers agree to partially guaranteed deal, per reports," 25 July 2019 He was signed by the Charlotte Hornets and played 17 total minutes last season, totaling six points, three rebounds and two assists. Chris Fedor,, "Cleveland Cavaliers agree to Exhibit 10 deal with J.P. Macura, will have him compete for roster spot at training camp," 25 July 2019 Eli Liechty and senior left-hander Tommy Kennedy each had two assists for Newport Harbor, which rallied from a 3-1 deficit early in the second quarter. Matt Szabo,, "Newport Harbor boys’ water polo wins Summer Elite Eight tournament," 13 July 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

19 Sep 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

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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