2 [transitive]to make it easier for someone to do something:
They had no maps to assist them.
WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE: help, assist, give somebody a hand, lend a hand, help outHelpis the most general verb meaning 'to make it possible or easier for someone to do something'.: Note that in the patterns help to do somethingor help someone to do something you can leave out the 'to' and say help do something or help someone do something• Cleaner water will help prevent disease.• money to help people build new homes.Assist is a formal word, and means to help someone by doing part of the work for them, especially the things that are not very important• Would you be kind enough to assist me in a small experiment?!! Do not say 'assist someone to do something'. Say assist someone with somethingor assist someone in doing something.!! Do not use assist to mean 'attend' or 'be present at'.Give somebody a hand, lend a hand, and help out are used in more informal English. Give somebody a handmeans to help someone, especially by carrying or lifting things• Can you give me a hand stacking up these boxes? Lend a hand and help out mean to help someone, especially when there are not enough people to do something• Police came from other areas to lend a hand. • Their friends helped out with the fundraising. ➔ See alsohelp
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.