verb (used with object), as·so·ci·at·ed, as·so·ci·at·ing.

  1. to connect or bring into relation, as thought, feeling, memory, etc.: Many people associate dark clouds with depression and gloom.
  2. to join as a companion, partner, or ally: to associate oneself with a cause.
  3. to unite; combine: coal associated with shale.

verb (used without object), as·so·ci·at·ed, as·so·ci·at·ing.

  1. to enter into union; unite.
  2. to keep company, as a friend, companion, or ally: He was accused of associating with known criminals.
  3. to join together as partners or colleagues.


  1. a person who shares actively in anything as a business, enterprise, or undertaking; partner; colleague; fellow worker: He consulted with his associates before proceeding further.
  2. a companion or comrade: my most intimate associates.
  3. a confederate; an accomplice or ally: criminal associates.
  4. anything usually accompanying or associated with another; an accompaniment or concomitant.
  5. a person who is admitted to a subordinate degree of membership in an association or institution: an associate of the Royal Academy.


  1. connected, joined, or related, especially as a companion or colleague; having equal or nearly equal responsibility: an associate partner.
  2. having subordinate status; without full rights and privileges: an associate member.
  3. allied; concomitant.

verb (əˈsəʊʃɪˌeɪt, -sɪ-) (usually foll by with)

  1. (tr) to link or connect in the mind or imaginationto associate Christmas with fun
  2. (intr) to keep company; mix sociallyto associate with writers
  3. (intr) to form or join an association, group, etc
  4. (tr; usually passive) to consider in conjunction; connectrainfall is associated with humidity
  5. (tr) to bring (a person, esp oneself) into friendship, partnership, etc
  6. (tr; often passive) to express agreement or allow oneself to be connected (with)Bertrand Russell was associated with the peace movement

noun (əˈsəʊʃɪɪt, -ˌeɪt, -sɪ-)

  1. a person joined with another or others in an enterprise, business, etc; partner; colleague
  2. a companion or friend
  3. something that usually accompanies another thing; concomitanthope is an associate to happiness
  4. a person having a subordinate position in or admitted to only partial membership of an institution, association, etc

adjective (əˈsəʊʃɪɪt, -ˌeɪt, -sɪ-) (prenominal)

  1. joined with another or others in an enterprise, business, etc; having equal or nearly equal statusan associate director
  2. having partial rights and privileges or subordinate statusan associate member
  3. accompanying; concomitant

mid-15c., from Latin associatus past participle of associare “join with,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + sociare “unite with,” from socius “companion” (see social (adj.)). Related: Associated; associating. Earlier form of the verb was associen (late 14c.), from Old French associier “associate (with).”


1530s, from associate (adj.).


early 15c., “allied, connected, paired,” from Latin associatus, past participle of associare (see associate (v.)).

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