verb (used with object)

to give support or aid to; help: Please assist him in moving the furniture.
to be associated with as an assistant or helper.

verb (used without object)

to give aid or help.
to be present, as at a meeting or ceremony.


Origin of assist

1505–15; < Latin assistere to stand by, help, equivalent to as- as- + sistere to (cause to) stand (si- reduplicative prefix + -ste- (variant of sta- stand) + -re infinitive suffix)
Related formsas·sist·er; Chiefly Law, as·sis·tor, nounas·sist·ive, adjectivenon·as·sist·er, nouno·ver·as·sist, verbre·as·sist, verb (used with object)un·as·sist·ed, adjectiveun·as·sist·ing, adjectivewell-as·sist·ed, adjective

Synonyms for assist

Antonyms for assist Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for assist

Contemporary Examples of assist

Historical Examples of assist

British Dictionary definitions for assist



to give help or support to (a person, cause, etc); aid
to work or act as an assistant or subordinate to (another)
ice hockey to help (a team-mate) to score, as by passing the puck
(intr foll by at) archaic to be present; attend


US and Canadian the act of helping; aid; assistance
baseball the act of a player who throws or deflects a batted ball in such a way that a team is enabled to put out an opponent
  1. a pass or other action by a player which enables another player to score a goal
  2. a credit given for such an action
Derived Formsassister, noun

Word Origin for assist

C15: from French assister to be present, from Latin assistere to stand by, from sistere to cause to stand, from stāre to stand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for assist

early 15c., from Middle French assister "to stand by, help, put, place, assist" (14c.), from Latin assistere "stand by, take a stand near, attend," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + sistere "take a stand, cause to stand," from PIE *siste-, reduplicated form of root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Related: Assisted; assisting. Medical assisted suicide attested from 1884.


1570s, "an act of assistance," from assist (v.). In the sporting sense attested 1877 in baseball, 1925 in ice hockey.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper