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

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 Which the government assisted the government, the companies were cooperative with. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Is it time for a ‘slow food’ movement for the internet?," 12 Sep. 2018 Boston police assisted in the execution of the search warrants in the bust, according to Ryan’s office. Danny Mcdonald,, "Bust nets $200,000 worth of illegal drugs, Middlesex DA says," 13 July 2018 Castro, who coached football for more than 40 years, assisted at Parker, Chandler Seton Catholic, Tempe, Tempe Corona del Sol, Tempe McClintock, Phoenix South Mountain and Laveen Cesar Chavez during his career. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Former Marcos de Niza coach Frank Castro dies at 83," 13 July 2018 The Carlson Funeral Home, New Britain is assisting with arrangements., "Mary Jane Fletcher," 13 July 2018 By refusing to assist in a case that involves MS-13, Facebook could quickly find itself in a heated political conflict — and potentially draw the ire of President Trump. Chris Welch, The Verge, "US reportedly pressuring Facebook to break Messenger’s encryption over MS-13 investigation," 17 Aug. 2018 The public records request asks Hill to clarify how many attorneys from his office are assigned to assist Hill in the inspector general's investigation. Billy Kobin, Indianapolis Star, "Governor's office halts auto-tweet policy after criticism of link to Curtis Hill statement," 13 July 2018 The Tucson Police Department, San Antonio Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service were able to assist in Cardenas' apprehension, Smith said. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Police: Suspect in Glendale shootings arrested after fleeing to Texas," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Oshie was outstanding throughout Washington's playoff run, racking up eight goals and 13 assists in 24 games as the Caps' fourth-leading scorer. CBS News, "Capitals' T.J. Oshie gets emotional sharing Stanley Cup with Alzheimer's-afflicted dad," 8 June 2018 Seth Schleiger made two saves in the first half, adding an assist on a goal by Perez in the second half. Andrew Turner,, "Daily Pilot Cup: Paularino blanks Lincoln, advances to quarterfinals," 30 May 2018 Along with Ovechkin's quiet night, Evgeny Kuznetsov — who scored a whopping 24 points in the first three rounds — also had just one assist. Fox News, "Vegas Golden Knights score 6 goals to get past Washington Capitals in Stanley Cup Final opener," 29 May 2018 Maddie Nolan had 18 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead Indiana to a 91-72 victory over Kentucky on Saturday in the Kentucky-Indiana Junior All-Star girls basketball game at Trinity High School. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Indiana girls beat Kentucky Junior All-Star basketball game," 2 June 2018 Rayshaun Hammonds had nine points, 10 rebounds and four assists. John Zenor, The Seattle Times, "Harper, No. 11 Auburn rebound with 93-78 win over Georgia," 12 Jan. 2019 James is our celebrity sommelier, the Orson Welles of his time—if Orson Welles had been averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists, instead of bugging people at dinner parties about Paul Masson. Jason Gay, WSJ, "I Won’t Whine About LeBron’s Wine," 3 Jan. 2019 Doucoure impressed greatly during that time, and continued to shine throughout the campaign, scoring seven goals and providing four assists in 37 league appearances., "Watford Reject Everton's €30m Bid for Star Player as Toffees Look to Bolster Midfield Squad Depth," 13 July 2018 Gilgeous-Alexander, taken 11th overall in June’s draft, had 13 points and four assists in the Clippers’ 77- 71 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Broderick Turner,, "Clippers rookies have solid outing in Summer League debuts," 7 July 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

18 Apr 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

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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