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 Chris was less compelled by the specific situation in North Korea than by the general idea of being helpful. Suki Kim, The New Yorker, "The Underground Movement Trying to Topple the North Korean Regime," 16 Nov. 2020 Some infectious-disease experts said a cohesive national strategy or long-term plan would be helpful. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, "Canadian coronavirus cases grow and spread as once-effective unity frays," 16 Nov. 2020 The system offers flexibility and the option to go at your own pace, which has been helpful given the family’s movements but also puts pressure on Cochran-Ray to be a full-time teacher, tackling everything from long division to natural science. USA Today, "'That's what we do': These kids, teachers are making school work during COVID. Here's how.," 15 Nov. 2020 Coaching — managers care about concerns, are helpful, encourage employee development. Bob Helbig,, "Employees choose Top Workplaces through survey," 14 Nov. 2020 Roche, which makes tocilizumab, did its own tests in COVID patients and reported that its drug was not helpful. Gina Kolata, Star Tribune, "An explanation for some COVID deaths may not be holding up," 14 Nov. 2020 If anyone has any information that may be helpful to police call the Bay Village Detective Bureau at 440-871-1234. cleveland, "Woman with dementia goes missing: Bay Village Police Blotter," 13 Nov. 2020 Keeping up mask-wearing or implementing a mask policy at any time can be helpful. Biplav Srivastava, The Conversation, "A new data-driven model shows that wearing masks saves lives – and the earlier you start, the better," 13 Nov. 2020 Even though antibody tests help determine whether someone has previously been infected with the virus, that information may not be helpful in the dating realm. Michelle Konstantinovsky, Scientific American, "Dating During the Pandemic: Can You Trust an ‘Antibody Positive’ Claim?," 13 Nov. 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

19 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Helpful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 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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