Assist and Assistance Definition and Meaning: What is Assist? What Does Assist and Assistance Mean?

Definition of Assist


  1. to give support or aid to; help.

  2. to be associated with as an assistant or helper.

  3. (v.i.)to give aid or help.

  4. to be present, as at a meeting or ceremony.

  5. (n.)(in sports) a play or pass helping a teammate to score or make a putout. the official credit scored for such a play or pass.

  6. a helpful act.

  7. an electrical, hydraulic, or mechanical means of increasing power, efficiency, or ease of use.

Meaning of Assist

The activity of contributing to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose

Classified under: Nouns denoting acts or actions


  • assist; assistance; help; aid

  • Context examples:

  • he gave me an assist with the housework / could not walk without assistance / rescue party went to their aid / offered his help in unloading

  • Hypernyms ("assist" is a kind of...):

  • activity (any specific behavior)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "assist"):

  • self-help (the act of helping or improving yourself without relying on anyone else)

  • support (aiding the cause or policy or interests of)

  • boost; encouragement (the act of giving hope or support to someone)

  • accommodation (the act of providing something (lodging or seat or food) to meet a need)

  • service (an act of help or assistance)

  • lift (the act of giving temporary assistance)

  • ministration; relief; succor; succour (assistance in time of difficulty)

  • financial aid (assistance given in the form of money)

  • thanks (with the help of or owing to)

  • recourse; refuge; resort (act of turning to for assistance)

  • hand; helping hand (physical assistance)

  • facilitation (act of assisting or making easier the progress or improvement of something)

Assists in sports

Several sports have a statistic known as an "assist", generally relating to action by a player leading to a score by another player on their team:

  • Assist (basketball), a pass by a player that facilitates a basket by another

In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that he or she was "assisting" in the basket. There is some judgment involved in deciding whether a passer should be credited with an assist. An assist can be scored for the passer even if the player who receives the pass makes a basket after dribbling the ball. However, the original definition of an assist did not include such situations.

Only the pass directly before the score may be counted as an assist, so no more than one assist can be recorded per field goal (unlike in other sports, such as ice hockey).

Point guards tend to get the most assists per game (apg), as their role is primarily that of a passer and ballhandler. Centers tend to get fewer assists, but centers with good floor presence and court vision can dominate a team by assisting. Being inside the key, the center often has the best angles and the best position for "dishes" and other short passes in the scoring area.

  • Assist (ice hockey), a pass by a player or players that helps set up a goal

In ice hockey, an assist is attributed to up to two players of the scoring team who shot, passed or deflected the puck towards the scoring teammate, or touched it in any other way which enabled the goal, meaning that they were "assisting" in the goal. There can be a maximum of two assists per goal. The assists will be awarded in the order of play, with the last player to pass the puck to the goal scorer getting the primary assist and the player who passed it to the primary assister getting the secondary assist.

  • Assist (football; soccer), a pass by a player or players that helps set up a goal

In football, an assist is a contribution by a player which helps to score a goal. Most commonly, an assist is credited to a player for passing or crossing the ball to the scorer. It may also be awarded to a player whose shot rebounds (off a defender, goalkeeper or goalpost) to a teammate who scores; or to a player who wins a penalty kick for another player to convert. An attacking player may be awarded an assist for contributing to an own goal. Players cannot be awarded an assist for a goal they themselves score. Usually one but a maximum of two players can be awarded assists per goal.

  • Assist (baseball), any touching of the ball by a defensive player after it has been hit by the batter and prior to the recording of a putout

In baseball, an assist is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is recognised to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball (after it has been hit by the batter) prior to the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional. For example, if a ball strikes a player's leg and bounces off him to another fielder, who tags the baserunner, the first player is credited with an assist. A fielder can receive a maximum of one assist per out recorded. An assist is also recognised if a putout would have occurred, had not another fielder committed an error. An example of such a situation would be when the shortstop fields the ball cleanly, but the first baseman drops his throw. In this case, the first baseman would get an error but the shortstop would still get an assist.

If a pitcher records a strikeout (whether or not the catcher catches the third strike), the pitcher is not recognised with an assist. However, if the batter becomes a baserunner on a dropped third strike and the pitcher is involved in gaining a putout (i.e., he fields the ball and throws to first base), the pitcher is recognised with an assist just as any other fielder would be.
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