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 The shooting itself isn't captured on the video, but the 28-year-old Johnson is visible on the ground for several minutes as paramedics wait to assist him. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Police association, former officer respond to concerns about lack of immediate medical attention for Dion Johnson," 25 June 2020 The agency began operations in 1983 gathering and distributing food to local organizations that assist food-insecure communities as a joint venture between East Valley cities and their respective United Ways. Ebony Day, azcentral, "Nonprofit spotlight: United Food Bank provides hunger relief during the COVID-19 pandemic," 20 June 2020 In local social media posts calling for the Cook statue’s removal, some have noted that the statue might not be securely attached to its base, and others have offered up a truck to assist in its removal. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "City weighs response to calls on social media for the removal of Anchorage’s statue of Captain James Cook," 19 June 2020 Bolton wrote in one section that Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping last year to assist him with his reelection effort. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Justice Department seeks restraining order to block release of John Bolton book," 18 June 2020 Two other boats showed up to assist them in the search. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "20-year old Crosby firefighter’s body recovered following tragic accident," 17 June 2020 The California law at the center of the dispute was enacted in 2017 and lays out the circumstances under which state and local authorities can assist with federal immigration enforcement actions. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Supreme Court declines to hear legal battle over California sanctuary law," 15 June 2020 To expand peer support services for adults in Cuyahoga County with mental health and/or addiction challenges to include telehealth and at-home kits with personal hygiene items and activities to assist during isolation. cleveland, "Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awards nearly $1 million to 18 organizations," 12 June 2020 Related to the lab, an upcoming series of student competitions is designed to generate actionable ideas to assist the retail sector recover as effectively and quickly as possible. Isabelle Bajeux-besnainou, Quartz at Work, "How business schools can help retool the economy for a post-pandemic world," 11 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Available is Ford’s new hands-free driver assist system, which can be used on over 100,000 miles of divided highways in the U.S. and Canada. Dallas News, "Ford plays it safe with revamped F-150," 26 June 2020 Available is Ford's new hands-free driver assist system, which can be used on over 100,000 miles of divided highways in the U.S. and Canada. CBS News, "Ford unveils revamped F-150 with new interior," 26 June 2020 The trucks will be available with Ford's Co-Pilot360 driver-assist system, which uses sensors and hardware for things like automatic lane keeping assistance and emergency braking. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Ford's powerful new F-150 offers fully reclining seats, a bottle opener, and a hybrid option," 25 June 2020 An upturned piece of wire gives you a little assist in tearing off sheets one at a time, and the curved top serves as a hook to easily carry the towels to the site of a mess without having to grab the towels themselves with dirty hands. Popular Science, "Simple, good-looking paper towel holders," 23 June 2020 Every 2021 Rogue comes with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high-beam assist, rear automatic braking, driver-alert warning and rear-door alert. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "2021 Nissan Rogue gets makeover, tech updates," 16 June 2020 This version of AcuraWatch has improved pedestrian-sensing capabilities and an enhanced collisionmitigation braking system, as well as a driver attention monitor and traffic-jam assist. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "2021 Acura TLX's New Kind of Airbag Could Cradle Your Head in a Crash," 18 June 2020 Because the new driver assist technology will get you home hands-free, the company announced Thursday. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford reveals new technology in the Mustang Mach-E: Look, mom, no hands!," 18 June 2020 In both cases, investigations pointed to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, a pilot-assist program that repeatedly pushed the plane toward the ground as the crew wrestled to keep it aloft. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "FAA explains why it's taking so long to fix the grounded Boeing 737 jetliner," 17 June 2020

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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for assist


How to pronounce assist (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for assist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with assist

Spanish Central: Translation of assist

Nglish: Translation of assist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assist for Arabic Speakers

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