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

Other Words from helpful

helpfully \ ˈhelp-​fə-​lē How to pronounce helpful (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 Harris said while programs such as the pilot Right-to-Counsel initiative are helpful, Milwaukee's affordable housing crisis is raising bigger questions about the value of shelter. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Nov. 2021 Research from other countries is helpful, but reproductive medicine also works differently — frequently, in private practices owned by large companies — within the confines of the American health care system. Isabella Cueto, STAT, 30 Nov. 2021 Capretta also asked if the police department’s installation in November of 10 safety cameras to capture photos of license plates and vehicles to assist in criminal investigations have been helpful. Brian Lisik, cleveland, 29 Nov. 2021 Scrolling through a long list online isn’t always helpful when looking for general information on a specific topic. Megan Stringer, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Nov. 2021 The health department realized that additional mental health training would be helpful after hearing about the stresses of contact tracing during a different training session, Blanton said. Lisa Schencker,, 26 Nov. 2021 On the flip-side, eating more fiber can be helpful in reducing constipation, if your IBS swings in that direction. Natalie Rizzo, SELF, 26 Nov. 2021 So, looking for announcements from the Space Weather Prediction Center about incoming solar storms is helpful. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Nov. 2021 Having that data -- specifically weighing the safety and benefits of boosters for this age group -- can be helpful when considering if adolescents might need booster doses at all. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 25 Nov. 2021

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near helpful

helper T cell



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Statistics for helpful

Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Helpful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on helpful

Nglish: Translation of helpful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of helpful for Arabic Speakers


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