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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Others associate Jell-O with the disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, who was the face of the brand for 30 years. John General, CNN, 19 Nov. 2022 Some readers might associate the good life with less arduous pursuits, and with things like fun or tranquillity or well-being. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Nov. 2022 However, regardless of what Shaw does to change the game, everyone will now associate it with Ikea due to the legal action the company is taking. Matthew Humphries, PCMAG, 31 Oct. 2022 Scientists normally associate clouds like these with volcanic eruptions, or nuclear explosions. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 22 Oct. 2022 Some 25 years later, Oregon State fans associate with the chainsaw nearly as much as being a Beaver. oregonlive, 21 Oct. 2022 Even the most casual observers of popular culture might forever associate Williams, 42, with a kind of tragic embodiment of grief, in life and in art. Susan Dominus Susan Dominus Photographs By Luis Alberto Rodriguez Styled By Charlotte Collet Nick Haramis Photographs By Lise Sarfati Styled By Suzanne Koller Sasha Weiss Photographs By Justin French Adam Bradley Photographs By D’angelo Lovell Williams Styled By Ian Bradley, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2022 However, most people often associate solar energy with large and bulky solar panels. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 13 Oct. 2022 Learning to un-associate your actual birthday from all these other painful experiences may require you to lean into celebrating your life in other ways. Sahaj Kaur Kohli, Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2022
Noun
Earlier this week Moore announced Fagan Harris, a longtime friend, associate and the leader of Baltimore Corps, as his choice for chief of staff. Hannah Gaskill, Baltimore Sun, 18 Nov. 2022 An Army veteran and financial associate, Francetic grew up in Florida with his parents but moved to the suburbs of Boston. Brianne Tracy, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2022 In Gambia, Bazzi was a petroleum importer and associate of then-President Yahya Jammeh, a former military officer accused by a Gambian government panel of kidnappings, rape, murder and torture. Debbie Cenziper, ProPublica, 14 Nov. 2022 Nava works there as a postdoctoral associate and pharmacist, and collaborates with Dr. Kabelo Mputsoe, an oncologist. Kendall Ross, ABC News, 14 Nov. 2022 Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top associate and tweeted — then deleted — a baseless conspiracy theory about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, who was attacked in his home. Barbara Ortutay, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Nov. 2022 Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top associate and tweeted — then deleted — a baseless conspiracy theory about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, who was attacked in his home. Barbara Ortutay, Fortune, 6 Nov. 2022 Jason Calacanis, an investor, podcaster and associate of Musk, has been pitching ideas for new features for Twitter and meeting with advertisers to try to assure them about the company’s new direction. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2022 John Bernardo, a political associate and fellow city employee, was charged a month later. Hartford Courant, 1 Nov. 2022
Adjective
In early October, the hospital had a week with RSV cases in the low 20s and another in the mid 40s, said Dr. Tom Murray, associate medical director for infection prevention at Yale. Jenna Carlesso, Hartford Courant, 22 Nov. 2022 Epsom salt is a form of magnesium called magnesium sulfate, Chris D’Adamo, PhD, associate director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, tells SELF. ​jessica Migala, SELF, 21 Nov. 2022 Brian Roberts, who then served as LUMCON’s associate director of science, returned to the marine center two days after the storm. Boyce Upholt, WIRED, 19 Nov. 2022 Players Theatre carries on its tradition of presenting original holiday plays by associate artistic director Kerry Meads. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Nov. 2022 Suzanne Muir, associate director of the department of psychiatry and neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said drugs and mental illness cause about half of the maternal deaths in the state. al, 17 Nov. 2022 There were two computers in the old dispatch center, because two dispatchers work at a time to provide 24/7 coverage to the campus, said Simone Fanene, the associate director of emergency communications. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Nov. 2022 Christopher Kennedy, associate director at the Urban Systems Lab at The New School, says it’s a plausible conclusion. Alaa Elassar, CNN, 7 Nov. 2022 Stephanie Brinley, an associate director at S&P Global Mobility, said recent market conditions have dictated what automakers build, leading to less investment in manual transmission technology. Morgan Korn, ABC News, 6 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'associate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

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

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 neurons S. 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 nursing Skagit Valley College Catalog

Legal Definition

associate

noun

: a lawyer employed by a law firm compare partner

More from Merriam-Webster on associate

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