verb (used with object)

to provide support for or relief to; help: to aid the homeless victims of the fire.
to promote the progress or accomplishment of; facilitate.

verb (used without object)

to give help or assistance.


Origin of aid

1375–1425; (noun) late Middle English ayde < Anglo-French, Old French aide, noun derivative of aid(i)er < Latin adjūtāre to help (frequentative of adjuvāre), equivalent to ad- ad- + -jū- help + -t- frequentative suffix + -āre infinitive suffix; (v.) < Anglo-French, Old French aid(i)er < Latin, as above
Related formsaid·er, nounaid·ful, adjectiveaid·less, adjectiveun·aid·ed, adjectiveun·aid·ed·ly, adverbun·aid·ing, adjective
Can be confusedaid aide (see usage note at the current entry)aides aids AIDS

Synonyms for aid

1. See help. 2. abet, back, foster, advance. 4. succor; relief; subsidy, grant.

Antonyms for aid

Usage note

Although the nouns aid and aide both have among their meanings “an assisting person,” the spelling aide is increasingly used for the sense “helper, assistant”: One of the senator's aides is calling. Aide in military use is short for aide-de-camp. It is also the spelling in nurse's aide. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unaided

Contemporary Examples of unaided

Historical Examples of unaided

  • In a few minutes, unaided, she sat up in the middle of her great royal bed.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Weissman and his co-workers have contended that this unaided principle will serve.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • Mr. Stone was rich, he had become so by his own ability and unaided effort.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "Unaided I walked here from the house," he informed her with a boastful air.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • And you flatter yourself that you can carry me off, unaided?

British Dictionary definitions for unaided



without having received any help



n combining form

denoting a charitable organization or function that raises money for a causeBand Aid; Ferryaid


abbreviation for

acute infectious disease
artificial insemination (by) donor: former name for Donor Insemination (DI)



to give support to (someone to do something); help or assist
(tr) to assist financially


assistance; help; support
a person, device, etc, that helps or assistsa teaching aid
Also: artificial aid mountaineering any of various devices such as piton or nut when used as a direct help in the ascent
(in medieval Europe; in England after 1066) a feudal payment made to the king or any lord by his vassals, usually on certain occasions such as the marriage of a daughter or the knighting of an eldest son
in aid of British informal in support of; for the purpose of
Derived Formsaider, noun

Word Origin for aid

C15: via Old French aidier from Latin adjūtāre to help, from juvāre to help
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 unaided

1660s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of aid.



early 15c., "wartime tax," also "help, support, assistance," from Old French aide, earlier aiudha "aid, help, assistance" (9c.), from Late Latin adjuta, from fem. past participle of Latin adiuvare (past participle adiutus) "to give help to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + iuvare "to help" (see adjutant). Meaning "thing by which assistance is given" is recorded from c.1600. Meaning "material help given by one country to another" is from 1940.



c.1400, "to assist, help," from Old French aidier "help, assistance," from Latin adiutare, frequentative of adiuvare (past participle adiutus) "give help to" (see adjutant). Related: Aided; aiding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unaided in Medicine



artificial insemination donor
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.