assist

1 of 2

verb

as·​sist ə-ˈsist How to pronounce assist (audio)
assisted; assisting; assists

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

assist

2 of 2

noun

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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Officials said Thursday that an outside special counsel will assist the state attorney general in reviewing the shooting. CBS News, 17 Nov. 2022 The cause of the blaze remained unknown as of Wednesday afternoon, but Salt Lake City fire officials said federal agents will assist with the department’s investigation of the blaze. Tony Semerad, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Oct. 2022 Kim Key, a journalist for PCMag who’s focused on software and online privacy, said that access to such information can assist you in curbing both your own Screen Time and that of your children. Justin Pot, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2022 The food bank also takes financial support from the community, but Chubbs said volunteers to assist with meal preparation are essential. Nelly Ontiveros Cervantes, Orlando Sentinel, 8 Oct. 2022 That came days after Biden repeated that the U.S. would militarily assist Taiwan if China sought to invade. Aamer Madhani, Chicago Tribune, 21 Sep. 2022 That came days after Biden repeated that the US would militarily assist Taiwan if China sought to invade. Aamer Madhani, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Sep. 2022 Following the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, Nevada Gov. Sisolak signed an executive order saying Nevada will not assist other states that try to prosecute residents who travel to Nevada for abortions. Fox News, 16 Sep. 2022 Baerbock said Germany will assist Ukraine in finding and removing mines and other unexploded ordnance left by Russian troops in areas where they have been pushed back. Arkansas Online, 11 Sep. 2022
Noun
The company is instead focusing on advanced driver-assist technology. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, 1 Nov. 2022 Yet customer enthusiasm for driver-assist systems warranted additional commitment of capital. Tom Krisher, ajc, 26 Oct. 2022 In each case, the database says that advanced driver assist systems were in use at the time of the crash. Tom Krisher, Fortune, 19 Oct. 2022 In each case, the database says that advanced driver assist systems were in use at the time of the crash. CBS News, 19 Oct. 2022 Many users of Cadillac's Super Cruise and Tesla's Autopilot driver assist systems are overconfident in those systems' abilities, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 11 Oct. 2022 More to the point for a heavy-duty truck with this kind of towing ability, there are several new trailering assist features. Jack Fitzgerald, Car and Driver, 6 Oct. 2022 Sammy Omari is joined Ford as executive director of advanced driver assist technologies. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 22 Sep. 2022 In hot water: Lawsuit alleges Tesla misled customers about the quality of its driver-assist technology. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English assisten "to help, aid, give aid (to)," borrowed from Anglo-French assister (Middle French also "to be present near, stand near" [with a "to"]), borrowed from Latin assistō, assistere "to take up a position near, stand by, stand by as a supporter or advocate," from ad- ad- (assimilated to as-) + sistere "to cause to stand, assume a standing position, place, check, halt," going back to Indo-European *sti-sth2-e-, reduplicated present formation from the base *steh2- "set up (in a place), take a position," whence also Old Irish ˑsissedar (in arˑsissedar "[s/he] stays, stands fast"), Greek hístēmi, histánai "to cause to stand, place," hístamai, hístasthai "to take up a position, come and stand," Sanskrit tíṣṭhati "(s/he) takes a position, stands," Avestan hištaṇti "(they) take a position" — more at stand entry 1

Noun

derivative of assist entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

1923, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of assist was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near assist

Cite this Entry

“Assist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assist. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

assist 1 of 2

verb

as·​sist ə-ˈsist How to pronounce assist (audio)
: to give support or aid : help

assist

2 of 2

noun

1
: an act of assisting
2
: the action of a player who by passing a ball or puck makes it possible for a teammate to make a putout or score a goal

Medical Definition

assist 1 of 2

transitive verb

as·​sist ə-ˈsist How to pronounce assist (audio)
: to give usually supplementary support or aid to
assist the patient up the stairs
assist respiration mechanically

intransitive verb

: to give support or aid

assist

2 of 2

noun

: an act or procedure that provides assistance
external pressure circulatory assist employs compression of the lower extremities P. W. Wright

More from Merriam-Webster on assist

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