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

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Other Words from helpful

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for helpful



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Examples of helpful in a Sentence

A helpful neighbor shoveled our walkway. a kind and helpful person
Recent Examples on the Web DeFrates said stepping away from all screens is also helpful. Milan Polk,, "Here’s how to help your kids pay attention to online school," 16 Sep. 2020 Enrollment numbers are mainly used to calculate other measures, but reporting this data is helpful to see the size of schools and districts, as well as demographics. Emily Bamforth, cleveland, "Ohio 2020 school report cards lack grades: Here’s how to read them," 15 Sep. 2020 One strategy that's been helpful to bring hospitalizations down in Houston is that doctors are implementing earlier interventions with COVID-19 patients. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "'Don't let your guard down': Top Houston doc warns public to stay vigilant as fall nears," 15 Sep. 2020 However, while face shields can be helpful, and certainly won't hurt individuals who choose to use them, Edwards still recommends wearing masks — either alone, or in conjunction with the plastic coverings. Hanna Flanagan,, "Louis Vuitton Unveils Luxury Logo Face Shield Complete with Gold Studs," 11 Sep. 2020 And the discretion that can be fostered online can also be helpful for employees worried about managers and bosses looking over their shoulders. Washington Post, "The latest frontier in worker activism: Zoom union campaigns," 10 Sep. 2020 Like checking PurpleAir 20 times a day, that's not helpful. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Bay Area Just Turned Orange. All Eyes Are on PurpleAir," 9 Sep. 2020 These kinds of distinctions are helpful, because thinking carefully about emotions can give us information about ourselves and our environment. Jessica Rosenfeld, The Conversation, "‘Quarantine envy’ could finally wake people up to the deep inequalities that pervade American life," 9 Sep. 2020 Having a comprehensive understanding of the city’s business landscape is already helpful. Gustavo Solis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Survey: 60 percent of Chula Vista’s small businesses may close forever due to COVID-19," 7 Sep. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of helpful

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for helpful

see help entry 1

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Time Traveler for helpful

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Helpful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for helpful


How to pronounce helpful (audio)

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


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

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Comments on helpful

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