a person who assists or gives aid and support; helper.
a person who is subordinate to another in rank, function, etc.; one holding a secondary rank in an office or post: He was assistant to the office manager.
something that aids and supplements another.
a faculty member of a college or university who ranks below an instructor and whose responsibilities usually include grading papers, supervising laboratories, and assisting in teaching.


assisting; helpful.
serving in an immediately subordinate position; of secondary rank: an assistant coach.

Nearby words

  1. assisi,
  2. assist,
  3. assist-control ventilation,
  4. assistance,
  5. assistance dog,
  6. assistant professor,
  7. assistant referee,
  8. assistantship,
  9. assisted dying,
  10. assisted living

Origin of assistant

1400–50; late Middle English assistent < Latin assistent- (stem of assistēns, present participle of assistere to assist); see -ent, -ant

Related formsnon·as·sis·tant, nounun·as·sist·ant, adjective

Can be confusedassistance assistants Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for assistant

British Dictionary definitions for assistant



  1. a person who assists, esp in a subordinate position
  2. (as modifier)assistant manager


archaic helpful or useful as an aid
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 assistant
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper