un·​help·​ful ˌən-ˈhelp-fəl How to pronounce unhelpful (audio)
 Southern often  -ˈhep-,
 also  -ˈheəp-
: offering no assistance : not helpful
a rude, unhelpful person
a confusing and unhelpful textbook
unhelpfully adverb
unhelpfulness noun

Examples of unhelpful in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Currently, Powerhouse patrons experience long lines for both its few bathrooms and the current small bar; sometimes those lines intersect in unhelpful ways. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 8 May 2024 Among freelance leaders, there is broad belief that government policies are generally unhelpful to freelancing. Jon Younger, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 Others talked evasively about Marley, using only trite, unhelpful sound bites. Rob Tannenbaum, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Suppressing or denying negative emotions, such as anger, inadequacy and frustration can exacerbate negativity and lead to an accumulation of unhelpful emotions that ultimately diminish your quality of life. Mark Travers, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 The hypermasculine nicknames were profoundly unhelpful in identifying person and place. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2024 However, that talk of love and futures strikes me as being particularly unhelpful to you. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2024 Without a deep understanding of users’ intentions and goals, agents can be perceived as unhelpful or, worse, actively annoying. Joanne Chen, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 The emails from Meta were always polite, but unhelpful. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 15 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unhelpful.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1616, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unhelpful was circa 1616

Dictionary Entries Near unhelpful

Cite this Entry

“Unhelpful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhelpful. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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