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

Synonyms & Antonyms for assist

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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 Haney, an editor and researcher there for 30 years, and Brent Olynick, who's worked there for more than four decades, will assist her, Haney said. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 18 June 2022 Surrounding departments were called in to assist in locating him with no luck. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 17 June 2022 At the request of local law enforcement agencies, the Montana National Guard sent helicopters to assist in search and rescue efforts in the small towns of Roscoe and Cooke City. Fox News, 15 June 2022 Deskis said the building department will assist the property owner and the individuals affected. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 14 June 2022 During a public meeting Thursday, Joel Anderson said dozens of small living quarters on an empty stretch of land could both assist people who needed help and give law enforcement legal cover to force the homeless off streets. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 June 2022 The preliminary hearing would assist White’s defense not only on the escape charge but also on the capital murder charge, the defense motion said. Paul Gattis |, al, 9 June 2022 Kourtney Kardashian is revealing another unconventional practice she's tried to assist in her fertility journey with Travis Barker. Georgia Slater,, 9 June 2022 One side of the argument was that this would lower greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels, which would assist the transition to renewables. Ian Palmer, Forbes, 26 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Emma Somers and Jenna Vetter each finished with two goals, as Somers added an assist. Baltimore Sun, 6 May 2022 Moon’s first, partial NBA season ended with 10 appearances, 137 minutes, 58 points, a four-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio and a front seat to January’s 25-point comeback against Denver and 24-point comeback in Philadelphia. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 Washington led the Southeastern Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.35) and was named second-team All-SEC by the league coaches. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 6 Apr. 2022 Only Gonzaga, Duke and UCLA have a better assist-to-turnover ratio than the savvy Hurricanes, who boast a 1.53 mark. Gavin Good,, 24 Mar. 2022 To beat Richmond, opponents must navigate a team that turns the ball over less than 10 times a game and has the country’s 11th best assist-to-turnover ratio. Xl Media, cleveland, 19 Mar. 2022 Tuti Jones Jones ranks 15th in the nation in steals per game (2.79) and in the top 50 nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.02) and three-point shooting percentage (38.9%). oregonlive, 14 Mar. 2022 Coach Matt Langel has a team that plays with great poise and is highly efficient on offense – ranking second in the nation in three-point field goal percentage and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 13 Mar. 2022 Point guards with a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio are good. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, 4 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of assist


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1923, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assist


Middle English assisten "to help, aid, give aid (to)," borrowed from Anglo-French assister (Middle French also "to be present near, stand near" [with a "to"]), borrowed from Latin assistō, assistere "to take up a position near, stand by, stand by as a supporter or advocate," from ad- ad- (assimilated to as-) + sistere "to cause to stand, assume a standing position, place, check, halt," going back to Indo-European *sti-sth2-e-, reduplicated present formation from the base *steh2- "set up (in a place), take a position," whence also Old Irish ˑsissedar (in arˑsissedar "[s/he] stays, stands fast"), Greek hístēmi, histánai "to cause to stand, place," hístamai, hístasthai "to take up a position, come and stand," Sanskrit tíṣṭhati "(s/he) takes a position, stands," Avestan hištaṇti "(they) take a position" — more at stand entry 1


derivative of assist entry 1

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

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Assist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for assist


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

Kids Definition of assist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to give support or help A clerk assisted the customer.



Kids Definition of assist (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of supporting or helping I finished my chores with an assist from my friends.


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on assist

Nglish: Translation of assist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assist for Arabic Speakers


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