helpful

adjective
help·​ful | \ ˈhelp-fəl How to pronounce helpful (audio) ; Southern often ˈhep- also ˈheəp-\

Definition of helpful

: of service or assistance : useful a helpful neighbor helpful advice just trying to be helpful

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from helpful

helpfully \ ˈhelp-​fə-​lē How to pronounce helpfully (audio) \ adverb
helpfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for helpful

Synonyms

conducive, facilitative, useful

Antonyms

unhelpful, useless

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of helpful in a Sentence

A helpful neighbor shoveled our walkway. a kind and helpful person

Recent Examples on the Web

Sure, a candy bar at noon is the same as a candy bar at midnight, but interval eating can be helpful for people who have a difficult time managing boredom bites. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About the Dubrow Diet," 29 Jan. 2019 Rasch did note that the lower temperatures and higher humidity can also be helpful for fighting fires. Cassie Dickman, sacbee, "Why was Sacramento suddenly cloudy this morning? Blame Fabio, weather experts say," 6 July 2018 In the meantime there’s another helpful result, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters last week. Joshua Sokol, Scientific American, "Gravitational Waves Reveal the Hearts of Neutron Stars," 5 June 2018 Triceps strength also is helpful as climbers must repeatedly lift tools above their head. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "An Elite Ice Climber’s Year-Round Workout," 23 Feb. 2019 Position zero is helpful, depending on how the question is asked. Eric Johnson, Recode, "What’s next for virtual assistants like Alexa? Maybe buying stuff for you automatically.," 24 Dec. 2018 Data sharing like that was extremely uncommon two decades ago, but the 911 data proved to be insufficiently specific to be helpful. Dan Rosenbaum, Ars Technica, "All hail the AI overlord: Smart cities and the AI Internet of Things," 7 Dec. 2018 For sure most of the things that technology can do is very helpful. Recode Staff, Recode, "How India fits into the global economy: It may not be China, but at least it isn’t Russia," 4 Aug. 2018 Opioids can be helpful painkillers when prescribed for those in need, but drug traffickers have begun to manufacture them illegally at more alarming rates. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Production of Opium-Based Drugs and Cocaine Is at an All-Time High," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'helpful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of helpful

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for helpful

see help entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about helpful

Statistics for helpful

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for helpful

The first known use of helpful was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for helpful

helpful

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of helpful

: making it easier to do a job, deal with a problem, etc. : giving help
: willing to help other people

helpful

adjective
help·​ful | \ ˈhelp-fəl How to pronounce helpful (audio) \

Kids Definition of helpful

: providing help a helpful idea

Other Words from helpful

helpfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on helpful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for helpful

Spanish Central: Translation of helpful

Nglish: Translation of helpful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of helpful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on helpful

What made you want to look up helpful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!