Aid or Aide?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Aid" and "Aide"?

"Aid" and "aide" are easy to confuse because they sound identical and their meanings both relate to providing help.
  • "Aid" means help or assistance. For example:
    • The team provided aid to the refugees. correct tick
    • The team will aid the refugees. correct tick
    • (Note that "to aid" means "to help" or "to assist.")
  • "Aide" is a helper or an assistant. (In other words, an "aide" is a person.) For example:
    • There's too much work. I need an aide. correct tick
    • (I need a person to help me.)
Note: "Aid" and "aide" are homonyms. This means they are pronounced the same but have different meanings.
aid or aide difference

A Video Summary

Here is a short video summarizing the difference between "aid" and "aide."


The word "aid" means "help" or "assistance." It is commonly seen as an adjective, a noun, or a verb. (As a verb, it means "to help" or "to assist.")

  • Be bold and mighty powers will come to your aid. correct tick (Canadian writer Basil King)
  • I have known sorrow and learned to aid the wretched.  correct tick (Roman poet Virgil)


The noun "aide" means "a helper" or "an assistant." "An aide" is a person.

  • General McChrystal and his aides told the unvarnished truth. correct tick
  • The Libyan leader caused a scene at the African Heads of State Summit in Munyonyo when he slapped one of his aides for taking him to a wrong venue. correct tick

Common Terms with "Aid" and "Aide"

Common terms with the word "aid":
  • Aid and abet
  • Band Aid
  • to come to (someone's) aid
  • in aid of
Common terms with the word "aide":
  • Aide memoire
  • aide-de-camp

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