as·​sist | \ ə-ˈsist \
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

Steering wheel controls are well thought out, with driver assist functions on the left, instrument panel and voice control on the right, and radio controls on the back. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Review: GMC Terrain gives you the ride you want—at a price," 23 Dec. 2018 During times of scarcity, young girls are expected to assist their mothers with households chores, often resulting in girls dropping out of school. Mélissa Godin, Teen Vogue, "Climate Change Is Creating a New Atmosphere of Gender Inequality for Women in Malawi," 20 Dec. 2018 Even more sobering: There are no prenatal experts with high-tech equipment to assist if there is distress during birth, or an emergency C-section is required; and the Eustachian tubes in newborn babies’ ears struggle with changes in air pressure. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Happens to Babies Born on Planes," 26 Oct. 2018 Over the past 12 years, presidents have twice sent National Guard troops to the border to bolster security and assist with surveillance and other support. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Migrant 'caravan' begins to splinter, 'disperse' after Trump raises alarm," 2 Oct. 2018 Donald Trump isn’t even two years into his presidency and, thanks to McConnell’s assist with Merrick Garland, he’s already filled the same number of vacancies as Obama did in eight. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the case for 18-year Supreme Court terms," 26 Dec. 2018 In the midst of this is a WASP pilot named Elma York, who has the skills and ambition to assist with the effort. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 To assist with relief efforts, Hadid shared contact information for several relief organizations in her post, especially for those who might need to take their animals out of harm's way. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Bella Hadid Posted a Heartbreaking Instagram About the California Wildfires," 10 Nov. 2018 Maria was on-hand to assist the bridesmaids at Eugenie's wedding. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meet the Cambridge's Royal Nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo," 13 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Anderson scored four goals and laid on seven assists as Lazio finished fifth in Serie A last season, missing out on Champions League football in their final match of the campaign., "West Ham Apply for Work Permit Ahead of Completing Club Record Transfer of Brazilian Star," 11 July 2018 In three games there, White averaged a league-best 23 points with doling out seven assists per game, second in the league. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "What to watch for as Spurs summer leaguers hit Las Vegas," 6 July 2018 Walton, who struggled with his shot in the games at Golden 1 Center, offered seven assists Thursday. Ira Winderman,, "Heat, Derrick Jones Jr. thrive again in summer league, ready for more," 5 July 2018 Ledesma has seven goals and seven assists in 14 league appearances. Charlie Hatch,, "Notebook: FC Cincinnati's midseason break, scouting the World Cup and the Almond Milk Cup," 19 June 2018 Joining the Loyola Blakefield graduate on the All-Rookie team were Brennan and attackman Phil Wies (eight goals and seven assists). Edward Lee,, "Review & preview: Towson men’s lacrosse," 7 June 2018 Durant’s 43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists led Golden State to a 110-102 win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "NBA players react to Kevin Durant's incredible performance in Game 3 of NBA Finals," 7 June 2018 Rubio added 18 points with eight assists, and Rudy Gobert scored 17. Andres Ybarra, The Seattle Times, "Mitchell scores 29 to lead Jazz past Timberwolves 125-111," 27 Jan. 2019 In the face-off against China, Olympic gold medalist Breanna Stewart, who recently won her first WNBA title with the Seattle Storm, led the team in scoring with 23 points, six rebounds and four assists, per Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The USA Basketball Women's National Team Is Currently Vying For Its Third Consecutive World Cup Victory," 24 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

21 Feb 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 \
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 \

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

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