as·​sis·​tant | \ə-ˈsi-stənt \

Definition of assistant 

1 : a person who assists someone : helper also : a person holding an assistantship

2 : a device or product that provides assistance software assistants personal digital assistant — see pda entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from assistant

assistant adjective

Examples of assistant in a Sentence

an assistant to the college president an assistant to the store manager a wealthy executive who has a personal assistant
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

One evening last May in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the night of the local primary election, Dave Ball, the assistant IT director for Knox County, settled into the Naugahyde chair of his dusty home office and punched away at his desktop computer. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 Plus, Bill Gavin, former FBI assistant director, on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser calling for an FBI investigation. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Hearing in limbo as Kavanaugh's accuser sets her terms; Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen meets with Mueller," 21 Sep. 2018 Gesser resigned from his job as an assistant athletic director at WSU. Thomas Clouse, The Seattle Times, "Former WSU QB Jason Gesser resigns amid sexual-misconduct allegations," 18 Sep. 2018 Both the director and assistant director quit on the first day (which is why Loeb and Allyn are now directing), as did the costumer, location manager, and several other crew members. Anna Silman, The Cut, "The Pro-Life ‘Roe v. Wade’ Movie Sounds Like a Total Disaster," 13 July 2018 Others charged include: Steven DeMoss, assistant safety director; John Ellis Scott, who worked in the safety department; and section foremen Billie Hearld, Dwight Fulkerson and Jeremy Hackney, all of whom worked at the company's Parkway Mine. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky coal mine officials charged with cheating on key safety tests," 11 July 2018 Today, Holmes is an award-winning artist who graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and serves as the assistant director of MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships. Cristela Guerra,, "Artist Ekua Holmes wants to plant hope all over Roxbury," 11 July 2018 Schmid is a brunette assistant program director at the Center for the Creative Arts with an intricate arm tattoo, calm demeanor and a mind constantly queuing up possibilities. Washington Post, "Best friends take First State Flea market on the road," 6 July 2018 Michelle Lord, the library’s assistant director and head of circulation, retired this spring before Smayda retired. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Southington Hires New Library Director From Coventry," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assistant.' 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 assistant

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assistant

see assist entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about assistant

Statistics for assistant

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assistant

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for assistant



English Language Learners Definition of assistant

: a person who helps someone; especially : a person whose job is to help another person to do work

: a person whose job is to help the customers in a store


as·​sis·​tant | \ə-ˈsi-stənt \

Kids Definition of assistant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: acting as a helper to another an assistant manager



Kids Definition of assistant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who assists another

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on assistant

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


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!