Aid vs. Aide: Definition and Examples

Let’s take a look at Aid vs. Aide.  The two words are very similar in spelling and meaning and are even identical in pronunciation. That makes these words easy to mix, but one isn’t equal to the other. 

  • “Aid” can be a verb meaning “to help” or “to assist.” It can also be a noun, which means “help” or “assistance.” 
  • “Aide” describes an assistant, either as a job title or as the person in the role. 

How is “Aid” Used?

“Aid” means “help” or “assist,” and depending on where it appears in a sentence, it can be an adjective, verb, or noun. Regardless of how it is used, the core meaning of “aid” never changes. 

ADJECTIVE: During COVID, the government released a series of aid packages to help unemployed people. 

VERB: Steven came over during our kitchen renovation to aid with demolition.

NOUN: Financial aid is available for new college students. 

How is “Aide” Used?

While “aid” can be an adjective, verb, or noun, “aide” can only be used as a noun. An “aide” is an assistant (i.e., a person who assists). A few dictionaries may allow for “aid” to also be used for an assistant, but the most commonly accepted spelling for this use is “aide.” 

EXAMPLE: The company hires an aide to assist the CFO with daily communication and scheduling. 

EXAMPLE: Steven was a terrific aide during our kitchen renovation.

EXAMPLE: Life would be much easier with a personal aide to manage grocery shopping and household chores.

Examples From Media Sources

Helen Szoke, chief executive of Oxfam Australia, said her organisation “would have put the reduction of poverty as the first benchmark” in the revamped aid program and was “cautious” about the role of the private sector. – The Guardian

That explanation comes from a committee aide who was authorized to discuss the draft bill after Science acceded to his request for anonymity. – Science Magazine

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