Aid or Aide?

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

The Quick Answer


(noun, adjective, or verb) "help" or "assistance" (or, as a verb, "to help" or "to assist")
  • The government provided aid after the flooding. correct tick
  • (Here, "aid" is a noun.)
  • The aid convoy will arrive at 5 o'clock. correct tick
  • (Here, "aid" is an adjective.)
  • We can aid the refugees by giving them water. correct tick
  • ("Aid" is a verb.)


(noun) "helper" or "assistant"
  • It transpired that the President's aide was a Soviet agent. correct tick
aid or aide difference
"Aid" and "aide" are easy to confuse because they sound identical and their meanings both relate to providing help. "Aid" means help or assistance, and it can be used as a noun or a verb. "Aide" is a helper or an assistant. (In other words, an "aide" is a person.) For example:
  • The team provided aid to the refugees. correct tick
  • (In this example, "aid" is a noun. It means "help" or "assistance.")
  • The team will aid the refugees. correct tick
  • (Here, "aid" is a verb. It means "to help" or "to assist.")
  • 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.

A Video Summary

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

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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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This page was written by Craig Shrives.