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

Clément Chéoux, the senior curator of photography at SFMOMA, curated the show assisted by Sally Martin Katz. William Meyers, WSJ, "‘Louis Stettner: Traveling Light’ Review: A Photographic Tale of Two Cities," 7 Jan. 2019 State prosecutions assisted by federal authorities have resulted in additional convictions, most recently when a one-time Alabama state trooper was convicted of shooting a black man, Jimmie Lee Jackson, during a protest in 1965. Jay Reeves,, "Government probing ‘new information’ in Emmett Till slaying," 12 July 2018 Athletic staff: Denise Harvey was the athletic director, assisted by Jen Stacey Brady. Melanie Laughman,, "Photographs and memories: Mother of Mercy's final athletic year, 2017-2018," 2 July 2018 The Boise Police Department will be the lead agency, assisted by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Garden City Police and the Idaho State Police. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "Meridian police shoot and kill armed man on domestic dispute call," 23 June 2018 That’s exactly what Weidner, assisted by local business owners, did. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora hits quarter century as a casino town," 22 June 2018 The First Meet and Greet Backstage at The Today Show in NYC, a 14-year old Baldwin was introduced to Bieber in a brief encounter assisted by her father, actor Steve Baldwin. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin's Relationship: A Timeline," 19 June 2018 Judges, prosecutors and public defenders are pushing for tighter restrictions on federal immigration officers inside New York courthouses, saying fear of deportation is making immigrants less willing to report crimes and assist with prosecutions. Kate King, WSJ, "New York Judges, Lawyers Want ICE Officials Out of Courts," 10 Apr. 2019 The fossil will also assist researchers in better understanding the metriorhynchid family, and ancient species to which Cricosaurus bambergensis belongs. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Jurassic Crocodile Ancestor Looks More Like a Dolphin Than a Croc," 5 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Frenchman got an assist from JCOMMOPS, an international marine observatory, which provided him with markers to drop off at various parts of the sea to help study ocean currents. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This 72-Year-Old Frenchman Just Crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a Giant Orange Barrel," 7 May 2019 Werenski also had an assist, and fought Brayden Point. Mark Didtler, The Seattle Times, "Blue Jackets stun Lightning 5-1 to take 2-0 series lead," 13 Apr. 2019 But the team of Spanish comedians behind the reenactment at Los Barruecos—with an assist from the local tourism board—has created more than a send-up. Laura Studarus, Marie Claire, "Game of Thrones," 11 Apr. 2019 The actress took to Instagram earlier this week to make a serious case for dousing your hair with a cool pint of beer (featuring an assist from her older sister, Dani), in an effort to naturally lighten her dark-blonde hair. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "Here’s Why Bella Thorne Dumped a Pint of Beer On Her Hair," 21 Mar. 2019 Congressional Republicans have upheld Hyde for more than 40 years with an assist from an unlikely ally: the Democratic Party. Christine Grimaldi, Vogue, "Senators Introduce Legislation to Finally Repeal the Hyde Amendment and End Wide-Ranging Federal Abortion-Funding Ban," 12 Mar. 2019 Kate Middleton got an assist from her sister Pippa at her wedding to Prince William in 2011, and Meghan Markle's train needed some help from her pageboys. Temi Adebowale, Town & Country, "Prince Andrew Fixed Princess Eugenie's Train Before They Headed Into St. George's Chapel," 12 Oct. 2018 Juliana’s work for the resistance gets an assist from a series newcomer, black market trader Wyatt Price (Jason O’Mara), who can turn from charming to issuing credible death threats within a sentence of negotiation. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Season 3 of The Man in the High Castle doubles down on science fiction — and stumbles," 27 Sep. 2018 After winning the final game of the 2017 season against the Miami Dolphins, and with an assist from Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bills made the playoffs last year, ending the longest professional sports playoff drought. Jennifer Williams, Fox News, "The Daily Spike: Meeting the Buffalo Bills' Kyle Williams (and going tailgating)," 21 Sep. 2018

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

16 May 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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using a distributed computer network

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