CS Sealey

New Zealand-based sub-editor, writer and author

The difference between aide and aid

TLDR: Only use aide if you’re talking about an assistant.

Yes, there is a difference! Aide is not just a dressed up or pompous version of aid, believe it or not!

aide (noun)—an assistant to a rather important individual

The President gestured to his aide who hurried forward with his documents.

aid (noun)—help or assistance

The ambulance officers hurried to the aid of the injured woman.

The old man hobbled with the aid of a walking stick.

Prime Minister Smith announced they would be sending medical aid to the victims of the tsunami.

aid (verb)—to help or assist someone in an endeavour

The travellers were aided on their journey by pack horses.

A positive outlook aids positive results.

first aid (noun)—initial medical assistance before more advanced treatment arrives

First aid was administered at the scene of the accident by a bystander before the ambulance arrived.

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