Aid vs Aide: Definitions and Correct Usage with Examples

This post titled Aid vs Aide: Definitions and Correct Usage with Examples takes a look at these two homophonous words: aid and aide. A homophone is a word that sounds exactly the same as another word but with a different spelling and meaning. (See Homophones). These two homophones have various shades of meanings and if we users of English cannot differentiate them by their meanings, there is a likelihood of confusion arising in their usages.

Aid vs Aide: Definitions and Correct Usage with Examples

Let us start by looking at the meanings of each of these tow homophones: aid and aide

Aide Meaning

Generally, an aide, as a noun, means ‘an assistant’. An aide is someone who acts as an assistant like an auxiliary, an aid, assistant, help, helper, supporter as in nurse’s aide, nursing aide, etc.

In the military, an aide is the short form of aide-de-camp pronounced /eɪd.dəˈkɑ̃ː/ and it refers to an officer who acts as a military assistant or serving as personal assistant to a more senior officer as in an adjutant, aide-de-camp, and an adjutant general.

Aide in a Sentence

Let us see the use of aide, aides or aide-de-camp in sentences…

  • The presidential aide was killed during the botched coup.
  • His driver acts as an aide to him outside the country.
  • The manager wants to hire an aide because of his tight and demanding work schedule.
  • During the field project, the coordinator got an aide.
  • You need a trusted aide as a leader.
  • Graduate Assistants are usually aides to senior academics.
  • Many political aides are well paid because of the roles they play.
  • The Officer’s aide-de-camp led him to his waiting car.
  • The opposition claimed that the governor’s aide was an impostor.
  • The General’s aide-de-camp was very alert throughout the whole ceremony.

Aid in English

‘Aid’ on the other hand, could be used both as a noun or a verb. As a noun, it means ‘assistance, help or support’ which could be in form of money or supplies. It also refers to a person, a device or anything that helps or assist. For instance:

  • He used a teaching aid in the class.
  • Crutches are aids to help someone walks well.
  • The UN gives aid to several countries of the world.
  • She wouldn’t have survived the recession without the aid of his bankers.
  • The book is an aid to using the App for publishing.
  • There should be visual aids in every classroom.

As a verb, ‘aid’ means to ‘give help or assistance to an individual, something or a cause’. For example:

  • Clean water and environment aid in the fight against diseases.
  • She aided her daughter in securing overseas admission.
  • These pills will aid the patient.
  • Better sewage systems aid in the fight against cholera.
  • Playing instrumental music aids the memory.
  • Black pepper aids the absorption of turmeric in the body.
  • Conducive and well-lit classrooms aid learning.
  • Some medicinal plants aid fertility.
  • Unemployment aids crime and emigration.
  • The pills will aid the child in sleeping well.

Aiding and Abetting

Aiding and abetting refer to a situation in which there is an encouragement or assistance for wrongdoing.

  • Did the new outfit aid and abet a crime?
  • Good citizens must not aid and abet a crime.
  • Aiding and abetting crime is punishable under the law.
  • Societies should not aid and abet jungle justice.
  • Many cultures aid and abet child marriage or forced marriage.
  • It is treason to be found aiding and abetting the enemy.
  • Union members should not be found aiding and abetting strikebreaking acts of the management.

To Aid Synonym

There are quite some synonyms that means ‘to aid’; that is ‘to give assistance to’ or ‘be of service to’. These include to assist, to help, to back up, to support, to alleviate, to attend, to avail, to benefact, to bootstrap, to care, to ease, to expedite, to facilitate, to give care, to hasten, to help out, to serve, to subserve, to succour, to wait on, etc.

With the Aid of Meaning

The phrase ‘with the aid of’ simply means ‘with the help or assistance of’. The opposite is ‘without the aid of’ which means ‘without using, without the help or assistance of’. Let us see some ‘with the aid of’ sentences…

  • I can only see clearly and read with the aid of glasses.
  • She killed the fowl with the aid of a sharp knife.
  • The sick man could only ease himself with the aid of a catheter.
  • With the aid of his uncouth urchins, the chief was able to take over the farmer’s land.
  • The Thai boys were rescued with the aid of special divers from around the world.
  • We can see far with the aid of a telescope while we see more closely with the aid of a microscope.
  • The farmer killed the ruthless snake with the aid of a stone.
  • The old professor can only read with the aid of a magnifying glass.
  • He was able to achieve the feat with the aid of support from his friends.
  • The villagers fetch water from the well with the aid of a mechanical pump.

Meaning of Aide-mémoire

We can also write this as aide-memoire. Aide-mémoire refers to a memorandum that summarises the items of an agreement. For instance, the summary of an agreement like the ones that are used in diplomatic communications. Aide-mémoire also refers to a position paper. A position paper is a report that explains, justifies or recommends some particular policy; a report or study.


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