help·ing | \ ˈhel-piŋ \

Definition of helping 

1 : a portion of food : serving

2 : dose sense 3 large helpings of reportage and interviews —Stefan Kanfer

Examples of helping in a Sentence

He had two helpings of carrots. Can I give you a second helping?

Recent Examples on the Web

There were the unabashed helpings of male pulchritude served up by the sportswear designers Parke & Ronen. New York Times, "New York Men’s Fashion Week: The Mixtape," 11 July 2018 And unlike 2015, China isn’t force-feeding investors gargantuan helpings of municipal bond debt, putting upward pressure on yields. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Handicapping the Next China Bubble," 24 Apr. 2018 Head to the North Shore to eat one (or five) helpings of garlic shrimp from the beachside vendors, then burn it off by hanging ten at the world-renowned surf breaks. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flight Deal: U.S. to Hawaii From $397 Round-Trip," 24 Jan. 2018 Gonzalez’s kitchen showed some finesse with that zuppa, a generous helping of shellfish and calamari cooked just right in a delicate seafood broth tinted with tomato and basil. Craig Laban,, "Jersey Shore restaurants offer tasty food options from Cape May to LBI," 29 June 2018 Drawing on the style of the vintage P1800 with a helping of American muscle—healthy haunches, slim windows—the two-door won much praise when Volvo brought it to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "The Engineers Turning an Old Volvo Concept Into a $155,000 Hybrid," 18 June 2018 Don’t miss: The people watching and staring up at the black-tarped ceiling. Mission District El Rio 3158 Mission St. Crowd: A true mix of all the LGBT letters with a healthy helping of straights. Emma Silvers, San Francisco Chronicle, "Your guide to the best bars to hit on Pride weekend," 14 June 2018 And on top of it all, the state is about to get a healthy helping of extra compost. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Why (and How) California Is Destroying Mountains of Weed," 2 July 2018 For a New York cart-style lunch, try Best Worscht in Town, up on Grüneburgweg, where people line up for a currywurst, or a cut-up sausage (pork or beef) with a helping of ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder. Nina Adam, WSJ, "Frankfurt: A Business Traveler’s Guide," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'helping.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of helping

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about helping

Phrases Related to helping

a helping hand

Statistics for helping

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for helping

The first known use of helping was in 1883

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for helping



English Language Learners Definition of helping

: an amount of food that is put on a plate at one time : a portion of food


help·ing | \ ˈhel-piŋ \

Kids Definition of helping

: a serving of food

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on helping

Spanish Central: Translation of helping

Nglish: Translation of helping for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of helping for Arabic Speakers

Comments on helping

What made you want to look up helping? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!