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to connect or bring into relation, as thought, feeling, memory, etc.:
Many people associate dark clouds with depression and gloom.
to join as a companion, partner, or ally:
to associate oneself with a cause.
to unite; combine:
coal associated with shale.
to enter into union; unite.
to keep company, as a friend, companion, or ally:
He was accused of associating with known criminals.
to join together as partners or colleagues.
a person who shares actively in anything as a business, enterprise, or undertaking; partner; colleague; fellow worker:
He consulted with his associates before proceeding further.
a companion or comrade:
my most intimate associates.
a confederate; an accomplice or ally:
criminal associates.
anything usually accompanying or associated with another; an accompaniment or concomitant.
a person who is admitted to a subordinate degree of membership in an or institution:
an associate of the Royal Academy.
connected, joined, or related, especially as a companion or colleague; having equal or nearly equal responsibility:
an associate partner.
having subordinate status; without full rights and privileges:
an associate member.
allied; concomitant.
Contemporary Examples

The associate is said to have also discovered a black plastic bag that emitted what police describe as a “strong odor.”
Tiona Rodriguez Charged After Dead Fetus Found in Bag at Victoria’s Secret Michael Daly October 19, 2013

“His films are brassy, anachronistic,” says Rex Roberts, associate editor with Film International.
‘Great Gatsby’ Reviewers Divided: Is Baz Luhrmann a Good Director? Kevin Fallon May 8, 2013

Instead, most trackers rely on measuring movement and associate a decrease in movement with sleep.
How to Better Use Your Data January 7, 2014

Pagan said he had been an associate of the Lucchese crime family until he became engaged to Renee Graziano.
‘Mob Wives’ Courtroom Drama Exposes Rat, But Protects Jury Michael Daly March 11, 2014

The papers say the FBI was watching as CW-1 exited the car and Asaro drove to where a Bonanno associate was parked.
A Goodfellas Sequel: A True-Life Lufthansa Figure Comes to Court Michael Daly January 23, 2014

Historical Examples

He likes us to be self-contained, and says that there is no one about here that he would care to have us associate with.
The Celebrity at Home Violet Hunt

We do not associate with them, and they are soon punished for their misdeeds.
The Dream Emile Zola

At the sight of his associate’s fate Max is stricken with remorse, and tells the story of his unholy compact.
The Opera R.A. Streatfeild

Try to associate with God-fearing people and live with them, then you will learn only good.
What Sami Sings with the Birds Johanna Spyri

This large family, so it appeared to Stephen Petter, was composed of the kind of fellow-beings with whom he wished to associate.
The Squirrel Inn Frank R. Stockton

verb (usually foll by with) (əˈsəʊʃɪˌeɪt; -sɪ-)
(transitive) to link or connect in the mind or imagination: to associate Christmas with fun
(intransitive) to keep company; mix socially: to associate with writers
(intransitive) to form or join an association, group, etc
(transitive; usually passive) to consider in conjunction; connect: rainfall is associated with humidity
(transitive) to bring (a person, esp oneself) into friendship, partnership, etc
(transitive; often passive) to express agreement or allow oneself to be connected (with): Bertrand Russell was associated with the peace movement
noun (əˈsəʊʃɪɪt; -ˌeɪt; -sɪ-)
a person joined with another or others in an enterprise, business, etc; partner; colleague
a companion or friend
something that usually accompanies another thing; concomitant: hope is an associate to happiness
a person having a subordinate position in or admitted to only partial membership of an institution, association, etc
adjective (prenominal) (əˈsəʊʃɪɪt; -ˌeɪt; -sɪ-)
joined with another or others in an enterprise, business, etc; having equal or nearly equal status: an associate director
having partial rights and privileges or subordinate status: an associate member
accompanying; concomitant

mid-15c., from Latin associatus past participle of associare “join with,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + sociare “unite with,” from socius “companion” (see social (adj.)). Related: Associated; associating. Earlier form of the verb was associen (late 14c.), from Old French associier “associate (with).”

1530s, from associate (adj.).

early 15c., “allied, connected, paired,” from Latin associatus, past participle of associare (see associate (v.)).


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