un·​help·​ful | \ˌən-ˈhelp-fəl; Southern often -ˈhep- also -ˈheəp-\

Definition of unhelpful 

: offering no assistance : not helpful a rude, unhelpful person a confusing and unhelpful textbook

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Other Words from unhelpful

unhelpfully adverb
unhelpfulness noun

Examples of unhelpful in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Truthfully, if Europe ever did develop a reusable rocket, one that could fly all the missions in a year, this would be unhelpful politically. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "As the SpaceX steamroller surges, European rocket industry vows to resist," 20 July 2018 The latest comments may be his most impolitic and unhelpful, though. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump’s rumored next chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, admits he sold access as a congressman," 25 Apr. 2018 The conventional wisdom around Silicon Valley is that dockless, not docked systems, are the future, so this may seem unhelpful. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Lyft’s Big Bike Share Buy Is About Ruling the Streets," 2 July 2018 But lately bosses’ mood has flipped into a hostility that risks becoming jingoistic and unhelpful. The Economist, "America Inc and the rage against Beijing," 28 June 2018 When Ruck questions him about the process of writing his books, Trump keeps his answers brief and seemingly unhelpful, much to Ruck's dismay. Anika Reed, USA TODAY, "Remember those cameos? President Trump's best TV and movie spots pre-White House," 29 June 2018 The president's messaging may be unhelpful to GOP leaders, but not necessarily an inaccurate assessment of the legislative odds. NBC News, "Hours ahead of House immigration votes, Trump questions point of passing the bills," 21 June 2018 Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Who is Katie Arrington? 3 things to know about the South Carolina congressional candidate," 6 July 2018 Such rhetoric could prove unhelpful to the 10 Democratic senators seeking re-election this fall in states Trump carried in 2016, where conservative views on immigration prevail. Bill Barrow, chicagotribune.com, "New rallying cry for Democrats pondering 2020 run for president: 'Abolish ICE'," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unhelpful.' 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 unhelpful

circa 1616, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unhelpful

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for unhelpful

The first known use of unhelpful was circa 1616

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a private place of worship

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