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


conducive, facilitative, useful


unhelpful, useless

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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

And some have found that the tariffs, while helpful, can’t solve their most pressing problems. Peter Eavis, New York Times, "These Companies Wanted Tariffs. How Are They Faring Now?," 10 July 2019 These new features, at least, are immediate and more helpful, if that’s where the bullying is happening. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Instagram will test a feature that allows users to shadow ban their bullies," 8 July 2019 Even the generosity of Josh King would be helpful, who is currently on penalty duties for the Cherries - right there is an immediate three or four more goals, at least., "Callum Wilson: Why Bournemouth's Leading Marksman Could Bag 20 Goals Next Season," 5 July 2019 July 1, 2019 Also, why posting a pic of a call sheet from over a year ago is helpful is curious to me. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Here Is What Everyone Is Saying About the Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun Situation," 1 July 2019 Special thanks to Coach Hill for being the most helpful off the field and in the classroom. Christy Cabrera Chirinos,, "Hurricanes get commitment from four-star defensive end Elijah Roberts on first night of Paradise Camp," 22 June 2019 Teaching employees how to recognize phishing and other cyber scams is very helpful, as long as the training is ongoing and not relegated to a one-time session, Cosgrove said. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Welcome to the Next Generation of Corporate Phishing Scams," 19 June 2019 Close Ranks: Relationship advice can sometimes prove helpful, but not this month. Sonja Marie, Essence, "Gemini, Mind Your Money! Here Are June 2019 Horoscopes For All," 6 June 2019 While the boss’ feedback is important and helpful, don’t lose the art of crafting your own observations and assessments. Liz Bentley, Marie Claire, "How to Get Promoted at Work In 3 Steps, According to a Career Coach," 9 May 2019

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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Statistics for helpful

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for helpful

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

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More Definitions for helpful



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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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).


to complain fretfully

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