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Origin of associate

First recorded in 1400鈥50; late Middle English, from Latin associ膩tus 鈥渏oined to, united with鈥 (past participle of associ膩re ), equivalent to as- as- + soci- (see social) + -膩tus -ate1; compare Anglo-French associer (verb), associ茅 (noun)

synonym study for associate

7, 8. See acquaintance.


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does associate mean?

An associate is a person who shares in business as a partner, stakeholder, or colleague.

To associate is to connect or relate multiple things together.

The noun form of associate, pronounced uh-soh-shee-it, often refers to a business partner but can also be used more generally to describe a friend or even an acquaintance.

Associate is also used to describe more sinister partnerships, such as an accomplice in a crime or a member of a gang or crime organization.

The verb form, pronounced uh-soh-shee-eyt, can be used to mean to connect or unite people. When you associate yourself with someone else, you may be working with them, you may be friends or romantic partners, or you may even be a customer. People who are associated will often be discussed in a pair or group.

Associate can also mean to connect or relate, as with objects and feelings or memories. For example, you may associate naan with your grandmother who used to make this bread whenever you visited. Or you may associate a favorite book with the memory of a teacher who introduced you to the book.

Example: I always associate gingerbread with the holidays, but it鈥檚 good all year round.

Where does associate come from?

The first records of the term associate come from the 1400s. It ultimately comes from the Latin associ膩tus, meaning 鈥渏oined to鈥 or 鈥渦nited.鈥 Joining or uniting multiple parts is how you can associate two or more people or things.

In the United States and several other countries, university professors operate on a tenure track system that includes the rank of associate professor. An associate professor will have significantly more responsibilities than an entry-level assistant professor but will not have the decision-making power and security of a full professor.

Did you know 鈥 ?

What are some other forms related to associate?

  • associated (adjective, verb)
  • associateship (noun)
  • reassociate (verb)
  • unassociated (adjective)

What are some synonyms for associate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with associate?

What are some words that often get used in discussing associate?

How is associate used in real life?

Associate is most commonly used to talk about the connections we have with objects, memories and feelings, or other people.


Try using associate!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for associate?

A. partner
B. enemy
C. colleague
D. fellow

How to use associate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for associate


verb (蓹藞s蓹蕣蕛瑟藢e瑟t, -s瑟-) (usually foll by with)
noun (蓹藞s蓹蕣蕛瑟瑟t, -藢e瑟t, -s瑟-)
adjective (蓹藞s蓹蕣蕛瑟瑟t, -藢e瑟t, -s瑟-) (prenominal)

Derived forms of associate

associable, adjectiveassociator, nounassociatory, adjectiveassociateship, noun

Word Origin for associate

C14: from Latin associ膩re to ally with, from soci膩re to join, from socius an ally
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012