associate

1 of 3

verb

as·​so·​ci·​ate ə-ˈsō-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce associate (audio)
-sē-
associated; associating

transitive verb

1
: to join as a partner, friend, or companion
They were closely associated with each other during the war.
2
: to join or connect together : combine
particles of gold associated with heavy minerals
3
: to bring together or into relationship in any of various intangible ways (as in memory or imagination)
She will always associate that place with her youth.
4
obsolete : to keep company with : attend

intransitive verb

1
: to come or be together as partners, friends, or companions
was accused of associating with known criminals
2
: to combine or join with other parts : unite
Protons, neutrons, and electrons associate together to form atoms.

associate

2 of 3

noun

as·​so·​ciate ə-ˈsō-shē-ət How to pronounce associate (audio)
-sē-,
-ˌāt,
-shət
1
: one associated with another: such as
a
: partner, colleague
business associates
b
: companion, comrade
a close associate during his college years
2
a
: an entry-level member (as of a learned society, professional organization, or profession)
an associate of the Royal Academy
3
often capitalized : a degree conferred especially by a junior college
associate in arts
associateship
ə-ˈsō-shē-ət-ˌship How to pronounce associate (audio)
-sē-
-ˌāt-
-shət-
noun

associate

3 of 3

adjective

as·​so·​ciate ə-ˈsō-shē-ət How to pronounce associate (audio)
-sē-,
-ˌāt,
-shət
1
: closely connected (as in function or office) with another : sharing in responsibility or authority
associate judges
2
: having secondary or subordinate status
associate membership in a society
3
: closely related especially in the mind
faith and its associate virtues
Choose the Right Synonym for associate

join, combine, unite, connect, link, associate, relate mean to bring or come together into some manner of union.

join implies a bringing into contact or conjunction of any degree of closeness.

joined forces in an effort to win

combine implies some merging or mingling with corresponding loss of identity of each unit.

combined jazz and rock to create a new music

unite implies somewhat greater loss of separate identity.

the colonies united to form a republic

connect suggests a loose or external attachment with little or no loss of identity.

a mutual defense treaty connected the two nations

link may imply strong connection or inseparability of elements still retaining identity.

a name forever linked with liberty

associate stresses the mere fact of frequent occurrence or existence together in space or in logical relation.

opera is popularly associated with high society

relate suggests the existence of a real or presumed logical connection.

related what he observed to what he already knew

Examples of associate in a Sentence

Verb I no longer wish to be associated with people like him. She associates herself with some pretty strange people. Noun Her associates respected her for her hard work. She started as an associate at the law firm. Adjective He's an associate member of the club but he hopes to become a full member soon. She was promoted from assistant editor to associate editor and may soon be promoted to senior editor.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
That effort is particularly tricky in South Korea, where meat is associated with wealth and health, and where tabletop barbecuing is a way of life. Min Joo Kim, Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2024 Goslings’ classic Black Seal expression is the signature rum for the Dark N’ Stormy cocktail, and the brand itself is indelibly associated with Bermuda. Tony Sachs, Robb Report, 29 Mar. 2024 Identity Orchestration Challenges To Consider One of the primary challenges associated with implementing identity orchestration is cross-platform and multicloud support. Eric Olden, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 But for tax-exempt hospitals, the financial benefits can be twofold. MORE: Medical debt in US associated with worse physical and mental health, premature death: Study Concierge fees provide new revenue directly and serve as a tool to help recruit and retain physicians. Phil Galewitz | Kff Health News, ABC News, 29 Mar. 2024 This trend is likely to continue until significant changes are made to some of the fundamentals associated with the region’s cost of living. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Mar. 2024 The idea is to share the risk associated with major disasters so no company is left to bear it alone. Rebecca Boone and Michael Kunzelman, Quartz, 29 Mar. 2024 As such, the number of family members gathering for the traditional service is expected to be smaller than normal to minimize the risks associated with larger crowds. Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN, 29 Mar. 2024 There are financial burdens associated with all the goes into caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Kamal Morgan, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 28 Mar. 2024
Noun
David has never been one to hide his disdain for Trump and his associates. Zack Sharf, Variety, 28 Mar. 2024 Then, Saab and his co-conspirators laundered the fraud proceeds, withdrawing large portions in cash and transferring sums to associates overseas in Turkey and elsewhere. Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Also Tuesday, a law enforcement source familiar with the matter confirmed that a man arrested on drug charges at a Miami airport Monday is an associate of Combs. Jonathan Dienst, NBC News, 27 Mar. 2024 Dissidents whose accounts were hacked included pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and their associates in the United States and other countries. Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2024 Yushan Lou is a research associate at the Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Edmund Downie, Fortune, 25 Mar. 2024 Two former Trump business associates, Andy Litinsky and Wes Moss, have filed a similar lawsuit. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 23 Mar. 2024 The survey, which will be accessible via the city’s web site, hopefully will launch within the next week, Ben Verdugo, a senior associate with Dixon Resources, said Monday. Barbara Henry, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Mar. 2024 Now that mortgage rates have eased a bit, more buyers are emerging, but their composition has changed, says Jung Hyun Choi, a principal research associate at the Urban Institute. Leonardo Bevilacqua, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Mar. 2024
Adjective
And why not bundle course materials when colleges are throwing in everything but the kitchen sink: libraries, sports, student activities, research, healthcare, and all kinds of advising and support from countless associate deans. Ryan Craig, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 This year still had the third-largest applicant pool in history, Logan Powell, associate provost for enrollment and dean of undergraduate admission, said in a release. Matt Egan, CNN, 28 Mar. 2024 The first native Hoosier to be named as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Minton was born right across the river from Louisville. Leo Bertucci, The Courier-Journal, 28 Mar. 2024 Also senior producer Rajiv Golla and associate producer Morgan Jaffe. Todd Spangler, Variety, 27 Mar. 2024 Sara Ruberg Sara Ruberg is an associate producer with NBC News. Sara Ruberg, NBC News, 22 Mar. 2024 Women account for 43% of associate business school deans yet are still outnumbered in other business school faculty positions that also offer leadership paths. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 19 Mar. 2024 Previously, Paulson was associate partner at McKinsey and Company. Jennifer Maas, Variety, 18 Mar. 2024 Carlos Andino, a former associate counsel with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, wondered whether the agency had enough data to link serious crimes and fare evasion. Danny Nguyen, Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'associate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

Middle English associat associated, from Latin associatus, past participle of associare to unite, from ad- + sociare to join, from socius companion — more at social

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of associate was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near associate

Cite this Entry

“Associate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/associate. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

associate

1 of 2 verb
as·​so·​ci·​ate ə-ˈsō-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce associate (audio)
-sē-ˌāt
associated; associating
1
: to join or come together as partners, friends, or companions
2
: to connect in thought
associate hot chocolate with winter
3
: to combine or join with other parts : unite

associate

2 of 2 noun
as·​so·​ci·​ate
ə-ˈsō-shē-ət,
-sē-ət,
-shət,
-shē-ˌāt,
-sē-ˌāt
1
: a fellow worker : colleague
2
3
often capitalized : a degree given especially by a junior college
associate in arts
associate adjective
Etymology

Verb

Middle English associat "connected, related," derived from Latin associare "to unite," from ad- "to" and sociare "to join," from socius "companion" — related to sociable

Medical Definition

associate

1 of 3 verb
as·​so·​ci·​ate ə-ˈsō-s(h)ē-ˌāt How to pronounce associate (audio)
associated; associating

transitive verb

1
: to join or connect (things) together
2
: to bring together in a relationship
infectious disease associated with a rise in body temperature

intransitive verb

1
: to combine or join with other parts
fibrils of the sensory neurons associate with motor neuronsS. J. Jacob & C. A. Francone
2
: to engage in free association
the patient associated freely about his childhood

associate

2 of 3 adjective
: ranking immediately below the senior or chief position
associate clinical professor of medicine
associate medical examiner

associate

3 of 3 noun
as·​so·​ciate
like₂
1
: a research worker or teacher affiliated with a professional organization or institution and ranking below a professor or full member
a research associate in pathology
2
often capitalized : a degree conferred especially by a junior college
an Associate in Technical Arts degree in nursingSkagit Valley College Catalog

Legal Definition

associate

noun
: a lawyer employed by a law firm compare partner

More from Merriam-Webster on associate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!