help·ful | \ˈhelp-fəl; 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 \ adverb
helpfulness noun

Examples of helpful in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

While some find the child abuse claim helpful in solving the mystery that was Whitney Houston, others, like her mother Cissy and Dee Dee’s sister Dionne Warwick, find the allegations in the film painful, exploitative and hard to believe. Janine Rubenstein,, "Whitney Houston's Mother Expresses 'Horror' Over Claims Singer Was Molested by Dee Dee Warwick," 11 July 2018 Giving back data to individuals is part of a broader push to offer participants a voice in research, especially research on their own tissues—but how best to do it in a way that is helpful to recipients and their physicians remains murky. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "Report advocates broader return of research results," 10 July 2018 There is also an option to filter by reservation length, so people looking for a place to park for a few months could find that helpful. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Camper van owners can find land to park on with Parkmybnb," 12 June 2018 Reminders and guidance when playing solo and with peers has also been helpful. Boys & Girls Aid / Community Content Partner,, "A Home of His Own: Marshall, 7, has never met a train he didn't like!," 8 June 2018 The other pieces in the defensive line group have been helpful, too. Josh Katzenstein,, "Marcus Davenport already making big strides with Saints," 29 May 2018 That should be helpful, since before, no one was notified when a new comment was added. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Pinterest adds a chat tool for collaborative planning boards," 11 July 2018 More helpful than craniosacral therapy is watching a YouTube channel I’ve discovered called the ASMR Barber. Ashleigh Young, The Cut, "Ghost Knife," 2 July 2018 Many at Monday’s funeral service also acknowledged Rose’s mother, thanking her for raising such a polite, helpful, thoughtful and respectful son. Errin Haines Whack, The Seattle Times, "Mourners: Black teen killed by police more than a hashtag," 25 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.

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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

5 Oct 2018

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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 \

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).


not any or not one

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