Definition of assist in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Help (someone), typically by doing a share of the work.

    ‘a senior academic would assist him in his work’
    no object ‘their presence would assist in keeping the peace’
    with object ‘he assisted her to find employment’
    • ‘The sickness and invalids benefit strategy is showing encouraging results in assisting people to recover and return to employment.’
    • ‘Likewise he is banned from encouraging, inciting or assisting any person to commit any acts of anti-social behaviour.’
    • ‘In social support interventions, a resource person was provided to assist patients in meeting the challenges of the illness.’
    • ‘Family members or friends can assist patients by encouraging the patients to discuss their feelings and worries.’
    • ‘They would also assist the senior students in their film projects, and interact with the faculty.’
    • ‘The foundation combines emotional, physical and academic programs to assist the children who need it the most.’
    • ‘The plan, claim supporters, will assist farmers and ranchers dealing with severe losses caused by last year's weather.’
    • ‘Waterford Immigration Network is a voluntary group working to support and assist refugee families in the city.’
    • ‘An emphasis on the family is important to assist parents in supporting their children's grieving process.’
    • ‘The most recent project has been to help improve and develop computer skills, assisting young people with homework and providing additional resources for all.’
    • ‘Several professional friends and colleagues have encouraged and assisted me in collecting material for this Guide.’
    • ‘I followed him to the front of the coach, and he assisted me as I climbed atop the driver's bench.’
    • ‘Council libraries were an example of where staff were using their second language skills to assist library users.’
    • ‘In this model the regular education teacher and the special education teacher collaborate to assist the included child.’
    • ‘Davis said the police were assisting the people to transport their belongings to their various homes and would also assist in the clean-up.’
    • ‘Occupational schemes are selected by employers who want to encourage or assist their staff in adequate provision for their retirement.’
    • ‘However, all recognize that collaboration is the best way to assist the people whom they serve.’
    • ‘They've provided free accommodation and assisted him in a several ways.’
    • ‘Families play a support role when they assist teachers with classroom preparations or with the achievement of educational goals.’
    • ‘As the second stooped to assist her fallen friend, who should walk towards the hotel entrance but their hero.’
    help, aid, abet, lend a hand to, lend a helping hand to, give assistance to, be of use to, oblige, accommodate, serve, be of service to, do someone a service, do someone a favour, do someone a good turn, bail someone out, come to someone's rescue
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Help by providing money or information.
      ‘they were assisting police with their inquiries’
      no object ‘funds to assist with capital investment’
      • ‘This centre will then be able to assist with local information on services in that area.’
      • ‘We would urgently appeal to the driver or passengers as they may have vital information to assist this investigation.’
      • ‘Max appealed to the community to come forward with information that could assist police in their investigation.’
      • ‘There is no general obligation on health professionals to disclose confidential information in order to assist the police with the investigation of crimes.’
      • ‘For half a century volunteers have been a strong force for creating effective change through raising money to assist the work of the Save the Children Fund.’
      • ‘He also appealed to residents to come forward with whatever information that might assist police in their investigations.’
      • ‘These people may have vital information which could assist the police in identifying the attacker.’
      • ‘Sometimes they were assisted with money to buy medicines or helped with other misfortunes.’
      • ‘I will ask them to search their conscience and to contact the police with any information that will assist this investigation.’
      • ‘The money is to assist the CFSC in providing funding for various projects involving small to medium-sized enterprises throughout the region.’
      • ‘If anyone has information which might assist with the completion of my family tree, I would like to hear from you.’
      • ‘We would like this person to contact us as soon as possible because they may have vital information to assist the inquiry.’
      • ‘Garda are anxious to speak to the owner of an articulated lorry who may be able to assist with information.’
      • ‘I would urge residents who have information which may assist this initiative to contact me in complete confidence.’
      • ‘In urging the public to assist the police with information, Paul said crime was the business of all law-abiding persons.’
      • ‘The footage could also be passed onto police to assist with inquiries.’
      • ‘The money raised will assist GOAL in the provision of medical care and the distribution of food and household items in South East Asia.’
      • ‘They include transportation and can assist with information regarding on- and off-resort activities.’
      • ‘If you have some information that is going to assist the police in taking a close look at other potential suspects, tell it to the police, don't tell it to the world.’
      • ‘I would urge anyone who has information which could assist police to come forward.’
      facilitate, aid, ease, make easier, expedite, spur, promote, boost, give a boost to, benefit, foster, encourage, stimulate, precipitate, accelerate, advance, further, forward, help along, contribute to, be a factor in, smooth the way for, clear a path for, open the door for, oil the wheels of
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2no object Be present as a helper or spectator.
      ‘two midwives who assisted at a water birth’
      • ‘She has also assisted at blood donor sessions in the town, and only stopped doing that in March.’
      • ‘Sometimes an official may be present to interpret and assist, but the onus still is on the player.’
      • ‘He will be long remembered by his colleagues for untiring attention to all aspects of his work, unfailing courtesy and easy availability to assist and advise.’
      • ‘Rainbows is a peers support programme to assist children or adults who are grieving a death or separation.’
      • ‘No subtitles are present to assist, although they would be welcome when the Australian accents are prevalent.’
      • ‘The difference in the instant case is that it is left to the common law to provide the answer, no statutory framework is present to assist.’
      • ‘A number of organizations and support groups can assist you in your fight against obesity.’
      • ‘It is hoped that all three local councillors will be able to be present to assist in the process.’
      • ‘He's been out there and up all night assisting under the leadership of the Coast Guard and Suffolk County Police.’
      • ‘From earliest times Government services have therefore been made available to assist independently warring industrial parties.’
      • ‘The leaflet says: ‘We need to form a new committee and require other helpers to assist in organising and running events that you want.’’
      • ‘For large groups we ask for some notice so that enough staff members are available to assist.’
      • ‘Yet, exercise professionals can assist clients by encouraging the idea that exercise is a priority.’
      • ‘Set up a computer that can be used for editing, and let users know when you (or someone who is familiar with the software) are available to assist.’
      • ‘Guidelines are presented to assist in the evaluation of allegations based on historical events.’
      • ‘Filtering software and technologies can assist, but not replace parental supervision.’
      • ‘I [i.e. Mr Jones] told him to leave the day-to-day management of [the appellant] to the other members of the board and I would be available to assist when necessary.’
      • ‘If you need help with your resume we have friendly knowledgeable staff available to assist.’
      • ‘She also very graciously assisted in the awards presentation that was done around the pool on the Saturday evening.’
      • ‘The summary is presented to assist in understanding the financial statements.’


North American
  • 1An act of helping, typically by providing money.

    ‘the budget must have an assist from tax policies’
    • ‘So the affable coach donned an apron and joined the kitchen staff in a playful assist.’
    • ‘With an assist from his brother who ‘got my resume to Bremer,’ he landed interviews that led to his appointment.’
    • ‘And they certainly appreciate the ongoing assists from news media.’
    • ‘And with an assist from the police, they were able to provide it.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the counselors reacted quickly and performed a reach assist while the camper was still under water.’
    • ‘Without the motorized assist, it took 45 minutes to triangulate into my first wave.’
    • ‘Even the politicians gave the media an assist by recruiting a famous speech from more than a century ago in an effort to capture the moment.’
    1. 1.1 (chiefly in ice hockey, basketball, or baseball) the act of touching the puck or ball in a play in which a teammate scores or an opposing batter is put out.
      ‘he led the league with 14 outfield assists’
      • ‘You don't have to rely on teammates for an assist, there's no variance in the shot's distance, and there is no defender.’
      • ‘For the week, he was 6th in scoring, 4th in assists, 5th in rebounding, and 3rd in steals.’
      • ‘He finished the season fourth in the American League in both assists and double plays.’
      • ‘Writers no longer take note of the assists credited to a shortstop or second baseman.’
      • ‘Ironically, his largest splash was made with his arm, as he had two outfield assists in just five games.’
      • ‘I was so happy to see him go to the NBA and lead the League in scoring and assists.’
      • ‘His stat line that day included five rebounds, four assists, and three steals against the best team in the world.’
      • ‘He also had five rebounds, four assists, and forced two jump balls with aggressive defense.’
      • ‘During the first couple decades of the 20th century, box scores listed individual assists and putouts but not RBI.’
      • ‘He finished with three assists as his teammates failed to finish a few opportunities he created.’
      • ‘A basketball player who averages both 10 rebounds and 10 assists per game is like a baseball player who leads the league in both home runs and saves.’
      • ‘A great assist is as much fun as scoring in basketball.’
      • ‘His scoring, rebounding, assists, free-throw shooting, and minutes all set career highs.’
      • ‘I've probably been the only guy to lead his team in scoring and assists for two years and not get an all-star berth, but that's the way things happen.’
      • ‘Credit the batter with a double, an assist to the right fielder and a putout to the shortstop.’
      • ‘It's no exaggeration to state that a great assist is the sign of intelligent, team-first basketball, the type of hoops everyone wants to see.’
      • ‘He led the American League in batting once, home runs once, assists three times and fielding twice, but never gained a stolen base title.’
      • ‘He scored 25 points and had nine rebounds and four assists in the title game.’
      • ‘Even though she's the state's fifth all-time leading scorer, she'd rather just as soon pass the ball, get a great assist or bring the ball up the court under pressure.’
      • ‘Eight seasons with more than 500 assists rounds out his major league defensive record.’


Late Middle English: from Old French assister, from Latin assistere ‘take one's stand by’, from ad- ‘to, at’ + sistere ‘take one's stand’.