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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For the last 32 years, the non-profit has been helping assist with the development of communities. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Charlize Theron and RAD Are Shifting Awards Season’s Focus from Fashion to Philanthropy," 29 Apr. 2021 Other agencies including the US Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado and the FBI will assist in the investigation, according to a statement from McLaughlin's office. Carma Hassan, CNN, "Three more Colorado officers placed on administrative leave after violent arrest of 73-year-old woman," 28 Apr. 2021 An annual review done by the other sitting board members would assist in overall accountability of the superintendent. oregonlive, "Libby Glynn’s full response to The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Portland school board candidate questionnaire," 28 Apr. 2021 Its Discovery Team of historians, scientists, naturalists and professional photographers (who share behind-the-lens tips) assist vacationers to maximize their moments and memories. Laura Manske, Forbes, "G0 Wild: Discover The Best Post-Pandemic Trips Of A Lifetime," 26 Apr. 2021 Officers with the Valparaiso Police Department were called at 6:26 a.m. Friday to the resale shop, at 2102 Calumet Ave., to assist the Valparaiso Fire Department with the report of a commercial fire there, according to release from Capt. Amy Lavalley,, "Man in custody after resale shop fire attempt: police," 26 Apr. 2021 Other task force efforts included partnering with local organizations to assist in the implementation of public art throughout the community, as well as incorporating public art into city facilities, parks and streetscape projects. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood’s new public art advisory board paints a colorful and vibrant future," 21 Apr. 2021 Stender did not immediately assist law enforcement or return to the scene, leading to the charge of assisting or harboring a felon. Star Tribune, "Passenger pleads no contest in Wisconsin hit-run that killed 3 Girl Scouts, chaperone," 20 Apr. 2021 Through their creative efforts, RERF raised more than $21.5 million to assist unemployed restaurant workers during the pandemic, giving $500 grants to over 43,000 eligible restaurant workers. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, "Stylemakers Who Are Making a Difference," 20 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Orlando Jimenez scored two goals for Russellville in boys action while Brayan Sop and Juan Cano each had a goal and assist and Daniel Juan Francisco scored a goal as the Tigers had 18 shots on goal. Daniel Martinez had four saves. Reports, al, "AHSAA soccer roundup: Crossville blanks Carver to earn first final 4," 2 May 2021 Overall, 13 out of the 20 players on the roster registered at least one goal or an assist. Brent Kennedy,, "Howard County fall JV programs navigate successful return after lengthy hiatus," 30 Apr. 2021 Alex Pristoop added a goal and an assist for Gerstell, Braden Hammond also scored, and goalie Dawson Hoar collected seven saves. Pat Stoetzer,, "After fifth straight loss, Gerstell boys lacrosse facing uphill battle in making most of spring season," 27 Apr. 2021 Rubin’s second assist was a masterclass in decision making in the final third. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Three Points: Stellar RSL debut for Julio and Rubin, Rusnák named captain and season-opening consistency," 24 Apr. 2021 Marcus Foligno's assist on the play was his 200th career point. Sarah Mclellan, Star Tribune, "Wild makes quick work of San Jose, winning 5-2 to sweep three-game homestand," 17 Apr. 2021 Her assist and defensive rebounding percentage are both in the 95th percentile nationwide. Shawn Mcfarland,, "By the numbers: Breaking down the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 matchup between UConn women’s basketball’s Paige Bueckers and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark," 26 Mar. 2021 In particular, active speed limit assist was prone to force rapid deceleration at odd times, triggered by a distant sign or indicator. Jason Fogelson, Forbes, "2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 4MATIC All-Terrain Review: Back On The Wagon," 17 Mar. 2021 Bjugstad's goal was nice, but the assist from Kaprizov was much more worth watching. Jose M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, "Minnesota Wild thump Arizona Coyotes in season's first meeting between both teams," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for assist

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for assist

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Assist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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