Definition of associate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Connect (someone or something) with something else in one's mind.

    ‘I associated wealth with freedom’
    • ‘She's also getting the hang of associating signs with people.’
    • ‘This album is forever associated with my 31st birthday.’
    • ‘Even the term cyberspace renders an absolute connection, associating digital experiences with spatial descriptors.’
    • ‘Two memories I have of my father are associated with it.’
    • ‘The system is often associated with snow in the mountains, although according the spokesperson, snow in Johannesburg would be unlikely.’
    • ‘Milk is inescapably associated with new life, emerging from the body of a mother animal for the purpose of nourishing her own newborn young.’
    • ‘Since the Romantics, the life of the mind has been associated with solitude, anguish and inner division.’
    • ‘Ever since my forced childhood stint in Sunday school, I had associated the Gospels with stories about ancient men in dusty tunics.’
    • ‘Traditional banks are associated with wealth and profit; food banks with poverty and scarcity.’
    • ‘She turned the phrase over in her mind, trying to associate this broken city with the word ‘home’.’
    • ‘People have always associated the mind with the technological fad of the moment.’
    • ‘These meetings had come to occupy a part of Kara's mind that associated them with dentists and GP appointments.’
    • ‘‘That is how we lose the passengers' faith and money and our name is associated with only negative emotions,’ a Balkan flight attendant said.’
    • ‘Political and social cohesion were strongly associated with past economic success, and in a weak global economy most didn't want to rock the boat.’
    • ‘However, these instances of the combination of research methods are associated with just one research strategy.’
    • ‘‘People always associate inner cities with social problems, but there are a lot of good things about these areas,’ he said.’
    • ‘Because of its connection to rain and water, the frog was also associated with the cleansing and healing powers of water.’
    • ‘This kind of system associates capitalistic criteria with social criteria, which will be in conflict.’
    • ‘While judges may have associated severe sentences with deterrence, the connection was not necessarily valid.’
    • ‘Cole slaw is possibly associated with Southern food because it so frequently accompanies barbeque.’
    link, connect, couple, relate, identify, equate, bracket, think of together
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    1. 1.1usually be associated Connect (something) with something else because they occur together or one produces another.
      ‘the environmental problems associated with nuclear waste’
      • ‘One goal of comparative genomics is to identify which sequences of genes in the human genome are associated with which traits.’
      • ‘Most of these adenoviral conditions and their symptoms are also associated with other causes.’
      • ‘In addition to being associated with lifestyle choices, cancer is also associated with unsafe working and living conditions.’
      • ‘Outcomes, qualities, behaviors and numerous other characteristics are commonly associated with success.’
      • ‘Remember that every muscle is connected to bone and that every muscle is also associated with an organ.’
      • ‘At least two proteins required for proper chromosome segregation are associated with the nuclear envelope.’
      • ‘Gluten is also associated with mental disorders.’
      • ‘When dwarf faunas are found in the fossil record, they are invariably associated with times of environmental stress.’
      • ‘After all, the condition is often associated with other problems such as congenital heart disease and increased risk of certain leukemias.’
      • ‘However, repeated messages about smoking cessation over long periods of time are associated with greater success.’
      • ‘Higher religiosity, more psychological health risk and higher scores on pro-drug social norms were associated with more frequent hard drug use.’
      • ‘Other conditions are also associated with high levels of CRH and cortisol.’
      • ‘A number of medical conditions are commonly associated with Down's syndrome.’
      • ‘Other conditions are also associated with high blood pressure.’
      • ‘Deficits in lung function are associated with other short- and long-term effects.’
      • ‘Thiamine status was not associated with any other clinical variables.’
      • ‘Over 7,000 marine species are associated with this area, of which 25 percent are found nowhere else on the planet.’
      • ‘However, it does indicate that strong feelings of community are associated with higher levels of personal trust in others in one's community.’
      • ‘The following products and therapies are often associated with cancer treatment.’
      • ‘Scabies is often associated with poor hygiene and crowded conditions.’
    2. 1.2be associated with Be involved with.
      ‘she has been associated with the project from the first’
      • ‘The reception would be a highlight of the year and he thanked all who were associated with it.’
      • ‘And so being associated with that, being able to help shape that, was important to me.’
      • ‘The pub has been associated with the regatta for many years, and became involved in organising it after it was cancelled a couple of years ago.’
      • ‘Well I mean this is a radio program so you can't see all the visuals that were associated with that.’
      • ‘We thank everyone who was associated with this walk for their support.’
      • ‘It was very well supported and sincere thanks to all who were associated with the day.’
      • ‘Danny Gill said the cake sale on Sunday was a most successful event and he thanked all who were associated with the event.’
      • ‘They can tell us so much about the people who were associated with the church in previous times.’
      • ‘The party is not associated with concern for the environment or for the developing world.’
      mix, keep company, mingle, socialize, get together, go around, rub shoulders, fraternize, consort, have dealings
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    3. 1.3associate oneself with Allow oneself to be connected with or seen to be supportive of.
      ‘I cannot associate myself with some of the language used’
      • ‘Besides, he wasn't really the type of person that I liked to associate myself with, to be blunt.’
      • ‘And for that matter, what does she associate herself with?’
      • ‘He is now into commercial translations, and has associated himself with some organisations working for reforms in the cooperative sector.’
      • ‘Beware who you associate yourself with, and watch out.’
      • ‘The youth, in particular, associate themselves with diverse facets of theatre, be it acting, pre-production or post-production.’
      • ‘Also, just as importantly, how do we restore the ownership of the people in the ideas, ideals and institutions we associate ourselves with?’
      • ‘At the time, associating oneself with these radical ways of thinking was tantamount to career suicide, and since I was committed to the ideas and their potential, I moved away from archaeology.’
      • ‘So, a word of caution: when making use of this term, recognise what trajectories you are associating yourself with and why.’
      • ‘After these stories circulated, no one wanted to associate themselves with either of these young women.’
      • ‘Given the present political situation, stars seem to be hesitant to associate themselves with one political group or the other.’
      • ‘Long ago I dated a woman who said she didn't think much of the people I chose to associate myself with.’
      • ‘He has a few select friends to associate himself with, but isn't willing to let new people into his life.’
      • ‘Now particular ethnic groups are wanting to associate themselves with particular clubs.’
      • ‘How have liberals done such a good job of associating themselves with virtue?’
      • ‘Although we agreed with the comment, we just couldn't associate ourselves with not taking the high road.’
      • ‘I always associate myself with only those products that I believe have quality.’
      • ‘I can see why people don't want to identify with us if this is who they have to associate themselves with.’
      • ‘He was just so different from most guys that I associated myself with.’
      • ‘Human beings are attracted to things they can associate themselves with.’
      • ‘I can have fun entering a world I wouldn't normally associate myself with, doing things I wouldn't normally do, with people I've never met before.’
      affiliate, align, connect, join, join up, join forces, attach, combine, team up, band together, be in league, ally, form an alliance, syndicate, federate, consolidate, incorporate, conjoin, merge, integrate
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    4. 1.4no object Meet or have dealings with someone commonly regarded with disapproval.
      ‘they are at risk of associating with criminals’
      • ‘In February this year he was sentenced to six months in jail after breaching the order by associating with someone he was prohibited from being with.’
      • ‘He was also forbidden from associating with certain named individuals.’
      • ‘I shouldn't have even wasted my time associating with you kind of people.’
      • ‘He began associating with gangs, using drugs and verbally harassing and stalking young women.’
      • ‘He is also prohibited from associating with another unnamed youth in a public place or causing any criminal damage.’
      • ‘Truancy is banned, as is associating with certain other people named by the court.’
      • ‘All three were banned from associating with a number of named individuals in the Smallbridge area.’
      • ‘The gardaí are aware of at least one case where a leading republican activist in Limerick was associating with a feuding gang.’
      • ‘He has also been banned from associating with two other youths.’
      • ‘Thus he flouted the social hierarchies of his time by eating and associating with outcasts.’
      • ‘This is not the sort of regime we should be associating with, even on the sports field.’
      • ‘Scarlett should not be associating with such a punk as he.’
      • ‘The brothers were also banned from associating with a number of other boys and girls named in the terms of the order.’
      • ‘They can be served on people (usually young people) to restrict them from going to a certain place, associating with particular people, or even dressing in a certain way.’
      • ‘In the past he has been warned by police that he was associating with dangerous criminals, and even now police have their concerns.’
      • ‘If a person wanted to stumble headfirst down the social ladder at my school, associating with freshman was a great way to do it.’
      • ‘When she thinks her oldest child is associating with someone he should not be, she travels and confronts the bad influence.’
      • ‘The order also prohibits them from associating with each other and swearing at people.’
      • ‘He was also banned from associating with two other named youths and had a curfew imposed upon him.’
      • ‘Who uses the word mingle when it comes to associating with gangs?’
      socialize, mingle, meet, get together, have dealings, fraternize, circulate, keep company, rub shoulders, consort, move, go out
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  • 1A partner or colleague in business or at work.

    ‘he arranged for a close associate to take control of the institute’
    • ‘I got your name and contacts from a business associate of mine who recommends you as a trustworthy person.’
    • ‘No one likes to disagree with a family member, a close friend, or a business associate.’
    • ‘Just be sure not to use terms that colleagues or business associates might use in their subject lines.’
    • ‘‘The people that we work with, they're not business associates, they're family,’ he explains.’
    • ‘They don't just put on a dinner jacket, stand up in front of a table of business associates, golf cronies, glittery wives and other people they want to impress and wave their chequebook about.’
    • ‘It may be the ideal presents for families, friends and relatives besides business associates and colleagues.’
    • ‘Can they lie with a straight face to their co-workers, customers or business associates?’
    • ‘Their neighbors, co-workers, business associates, etc., should know.’
    • ‘Good, clear communication during business meetings with associates leads to resolution of important details and smooth transactions.’
    • ‘He teams with the other partners, associate partners, and associates to come up with overall concepts, and reviews jobs periodically throughout the design process.’
    • ‘I addressed the letter to 500 people: friends, family, business associates, neighbours and acquaintances.’
    • ‘Interviews with his closest friends, teammates, family, and business associates fill in the gaps of his life and show us a glimpse of the true generosity and caring of the man behind the helmet.’
    • ‘To succeed in Korea, you must cultivate close personal relationships with business associates and earn their respect and trust.’
    • ‘The custom now goes beyond the close family restrictive powers and has moved on to the level of friendship and business associates, classmates and neighbours.’
    • ‘Joining him will be close business associates and friends, and maybe the odd celebrity.’
    • ‘Once initial contact is made, building a close relationship with business associates is key.’
    • ‘The latter date also applies to contracts between covered entities and their business partners that fall within HIPAA's definition of a business associate.’
    • ‘The donation is from the proceeds of a raffle of Christmas gifts which the company had received from its suppliers and other business associates.’
    • ‘His company was properly registered, and he boasted several business associates with impeccable reputations.’
    • ‘Early this afternoon, my business associates were on the way to an appointment at a primary school when they encountered something quite horrible.’
    partner, colleague, co-worker, fellow worker, workmate, compatriot, comrade, friend, ally, supporter, wingman, confederate, connection, contact, acquaintance
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    1. 1.1 A companion or friend.
      ‘his old friend and hearty associate’
      • ‘What is it that enables us to turn friend, neighbour, associate, acquaintance into a thing, an object to be hated and destroyed?’
      • ‘I'd like to give holiday greetings my wife, my three daughters, all my family friends and associates back in the states.’
      • ‘It also potentially endangers large numbers of friends and associates, who are outed along with you.’
      • ‘A meeting of friends or associates at a home or the market will often involve the sharing of tea.’
      • ‘Two-thirds of Americans say they have gay friends or associates, making them a lot less likely to support the use of gays as political punching bags.’
      • ‘Santiago informed them that I was a longtime friend and associate of his, and that I had a passing acquaintance with Herr Voight.’
      • ‘Which implies that she maintained her story, implausible and transparent as it became, rather than implicate her friends and associates.’
      • ‘Howard was a best friend and trusted associate of my father, so he stopped by occasionally.’
      • ‘We all know from studies that the best way people enter the shooting sports is when they're invited by a friend or trusted associate.’
      • ‘Sure, you could pad your list of references with favorable friends and amicable associates, but a savvy cross-examiner could always ferret out some truths.’
      • ‘They may be sitting on the fence at the moment because it may be their friend or associate.’
      • ‘Please know that you can give this article to anyone that you may think that it may help, friends, family associates, or just anyone at all.’
      • ‘An intimate friend or associate of the artist would seem a more plausible scenario.’
      • ‘The speeches went on and on, but I remember quite a bit of quoting from Dr. King's speeches, plus personal reminiscences from friends and associates.’
      • ‘It's there in part because I remember how friends and associates would try to console me after I'd been zinged.’
      • ‘No charges have been laid, but the man in custody is reported to have been a friend and associate of the deceased.’
      • ‘People will think nothing of emailing or somehow zapping large chunks of their collection to many friends or associates at once.’
      • ‘This is always the invitation of a friend or associate.’
      • ‘It seems as though whoever I talk to, or give attention to, immediately assumes that I like them as more than friends / associates.’
      • ‘She wrote a powerful and heartfelt letter about it, which she sent to all her friends and associates, and which got forwarded all over the place.’
  • 2A person with limited or subordinate membership of an organization.

    • ‘We know you are a member of the Resistance, or at least an associate of the organization.’
    • ‘The result has been to shift the burden of proof to members and associates of those gangs, and, in effect, to hit them in their wallets.’
    • ‘The police say there are now 700 White Fence members and associates.’
    • ‘They were all members or associates of the HAMC ‘brotherhood’, and their discussion was about matters within their peculiar knowledge.’
    • ‘Charges were filed against 21 other members and associates of the Winter Hill Gang in the 1979 race-fixing case.’
    • ‘The associate's term of membership always expires with the term of the full member, so please remember to coordinate your renewals accordingly.’
    • ‘More than 60 members or associates of AIM were killed on Pine Ridge between 1973 and 1976.’
    • ‘On that night sixty-four names were given in for nomination as members and associates.’
    • ‘Subsequent investigation turned up 22 members and associates of white supremacist organizations in the division's ranks.’
    • ‘By 1976 the group had 100 members and associates and it went on a year later to start a group in Rochdale, following by further organisations in Wigan and Bury.’
    • ‘That case arose because there were convictions as a result of a brawl in a pub in Christchurch, and it involved gang members and their associates.’
    • ‘As on previous occasions, traffic management, course layout and stewarding on the day was delivered with efficiency by club members and associates.’
    subscriber, representative, attender, insider, fellow, comrade, adherent, life member, founder member, card-carrying member
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    1. 2.1 A person who holds an academic degree conferred by a junior college (only in titles or set expressions)
      ‘an associate's degree in science’
      ‘an Associate of Arts’
      • ‘Some reverse transfers complete an associate's degree but do not seek transfer to a four-year college, while other reverse transfers later re-enroll at a four-year college.’
      • ‘Right now I am currently attempting to graduate from college with an associate's degree, and I am in the delayed-entry program for the United States Air Force.’
      • ‘These benefits apply to students in two-year colleges as well - especially to those who obtain an associate's degree.’
      • ‘The survey found that 73 percent of the respondents reported receiving an associate's degree and that 32 percent said they were going on to seek a bachelor's degree.’
      • ‘The literature suggests that full-time community college students require approximately 3 years to complete an associate's degree.’
      • ‘Thus a typical for-profit college is much more likely than their public or private nonprofit counterparts to confer both associate and bachelor's degrees.’
      • ‘The traditional pattern for a transfer student is to complete an associate's degree then matriculate to the four-year institution.’
      • ‘This type of articulation agreement is considered stronger because it includes the many community college students who transfer before earning the associate's degree.’
      • ‘Third, I suggest adding a two-year associate's degree to the existing academic system that now offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.’
      • ‘First, the highest degree earned was categorized as 0 for no degree, 1 for a certificate, and 2 for an associate's degree.’
      • ‘For example, if a student is majoring in engineering or nursing, it's quicker to skip the associate's degree and concentrate on work toward the bachelor's degree.’
      • ‘After six years, she finally earns an associate's degree.’
      • ‘Later, he was one of the few people chosen to participate in an accelerated hotel management associate's degree program taught by top chefs from England.’
      • ‘It exposed her to the ins and outs of more than a dozen careers - each of which could be entered after graduating from a two-year associate's degree program.’
      • ‘If statewide transfer agreements cover only students who have completed associate's degrees, significant proportions of students who transfer will be left out.’
      • ‘Staff and administrators attempt to get to know the students while they are pursuing their associate's degrees and offer a special course for new transfer students once they arrive.’
      • ‘Most tribal colleges offer accredited two-year associate of arts degrees, though as many as six now offer four-year degrees.’
      • ‘On another occasion, when he realized that he lacked funds to complete his associate's degree, John responded by drinking excessively for a month.’
      • ‘Get an associate's degree and then move on to finish your bachelor's at a state school or private university.’
      • ‘Losing its two-year students would have been a major blow for the college; 25 percent of its associate's degree students are enrolled in a.d. programs.’
  • 3Psychology
    A concept connected with another.

    • ‘In the present study, the common associate appeared as the final word in the list.’
    • ‘For instance, some experiments have involved the learning of paired associates.’
    • ‘Two experiments varied the attributes in paired associates lists or sentences.’
    • ‘In this task, listeners heard sets of five paired associates.’
    • ‘The lists consisted of either associates of a common word or semantically unrelated words.’


  • 1attributive Joined or connected with an organization or business.

    ‘an associate company’
    • ‘The tie-up will enable the company to take the card business to centres where the associate banks are located.’
    • ‘Along with its associate organisations in Karnataka's Jungle Lodges and Resorts, it is also spreading eco-logic in a very pragmatic, and entertaining way.’
    • ‘It has also brought in other international business names such as Gillette and Samsung as associate sponsors.’
    • ‘The Reserve has been in the traditional associate unit business since 1968, where reservists fly and maintain aircraft owned by the active duty.’
    1. 1.1 Denoting shared function or membership but with a lesser status.
      ‘the associate director of the academy’
      • ‘She has since worked as associate producer and production assistant on numerous, and varied productions, including a 10-minute film for Flemish Government.’
      • ‘But the whole point of being an associate producer is that you're involved in the process afterwards.’
      • ‘The associate membership status has opened the door to a new and untapped market.’
      • ‘Previously she was an assistant professor of business and associate campaign director at Hampton University.’
      • ‘Next, the precinct selected official chairs and associate chairs to organize and represent the precinct on the county level.’
      • ‘So, on Sunday, the governing committee dissolved the associate status level.’
      • ‘The associate director does not think users will have any problems with the software, with the exception that some messages will be mistakenly labelled as spam.’
      • ‘We also have associate members who are not yet of retirement age but are approaching it with some trepidation.’
      • ‘It was just about then that we learned that I would not win an associate membership at Oxford.’
      • ‘Any new club would now have to apply for associate membership, effectively a probationary period which could last up to three years before full membership is granted.’
      • ‘Now, would you just initial those undertakings and hand them back to the associate officer and would counsel just attend to these orders.’
      • ‘This is to inform you of my decision to retire from my position as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.’
      • ‘Our church provides medical insurance for our senior pastor but no medical insurance for the associate pastors or office staff.’
      • ‘Yes, I started as an associate editor.’
      • ‘This church had in its constitution provisions for associate membership.’
      • ‘I met Emmett two years ago when I moved to New York and took a job at Art Business News as an associate editor.’
      • ‘New this year is an associate membership allowing beginner writers the chance to grow, with the support of veteran writers.’
      • ‘Since the decision was made, all former associate female members have made the transition to full membership.’
      • ‘The others only qualify for various levels of associate membership.’
      • ‘Its wider associate membership comes to perhaps 1,000,000 people.’


Late Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘join with in a common purpose’; as an adjective in the sense ‘allied’): from Latin associat- ‘joined’, from the verb associare, from ad- ‘to’ + socius ‘sharing, allied’.