—v.t. 1. to connect or bring into relation, as thought, feeling, memory, etc.: Many people associate dark clouds with depression and gloom. 2. to join as a companion, partner, or ally: to associate oneself with a cause. 3. to unite; combine: coal associated with shale.
—v.i. 1. to enter into union; unite.
2. to keep company, as a friend, companion, or ally: He was accused of associating with known criminals. 3. to join together as partners or colleagues.
—n. 1. 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. 2. a companion or comrade: my most intimate associates. 3. a confederate; an accomplice or ally: criminal associates. 4. anything usually accompanying or associated with another; an accompaniment or concomitant.
5. a person who is admitted to a subordinate degree of membership in an association or institution: an associate of the Royal Academy.
—adj. 1. connected, joined, or related, esp. as a companion or colleague; having equal or nearly equal responsibility: an associate partner. 2. having subordinate status; without full rights and privileges: an associate member. 3. allied; concomitant.