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

The Libya suggestion raised eyebrows in Seoul, where Bolton's comments were deemed unhelpful at best and deeply damaging to the potential for diplomacy at worst. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump set to press South Korea's Moon ahead of Kim summit," 22 May 2018 The pro-Brexit dissenters' alternative document accused the EU of taking an unhelpful approach to the border issue. Fox News, "Lawmakers say UK should consider postponing Brexit," 18 Mar. 2018 The pro-Brexit dissenters’ alternative document accused the EU of taking an unhelpful approach to the border issue. Washington Post, "Lawmakers say UK should consider postponing Brexit," 18 Mar. 2018 In Cam, Alice is far from disposable, taking matters into her own hands after the police prove to be unhelpful. Carl Kelsch, Marie Claire, "'Cam' Is the Sex-Positive Horror Movie You Have to See," 24 Dec. 2018 That’s unhelpful for many academics whose studies have longer time frames. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How WhatsApp is undermining Facebook’s war on election interference," 19 Oct. 2018 My coworkers all knew her and were just as shocked with grief as anyone but had mostly unhelpful things to say. April Bridgeman, Woman's Day, "My Husband and I Bonded Over Death," 13 Apr. 2016 On the night of the election, the president tweeted: Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The fall of the not-quite-Trumpers," 6 Nov. 2018 Others said the human-resources department had been unhelpful to employees seeking to remedy workplace complaints. Sara Germano, WSJ, "Nike to Adjust Pay for Thousands of Staffers After Internal Review," 23 July 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

10 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for unhelpful

The first known use of unhelpful was circa 1616

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English Language Learners Definition of unhelpful

: giving no help : not helpful or useful

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Spanish Central: Translation of unhelpful

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