un·​help·​ful | \ ˌən-ˈhelp-fəl How to pronounce unhelpful (audio) ; 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 Hanging over the conference was the question of whether the president would try to stage a surprise meeting with Mr. Zelensky, even though officials said the optics would be unhelpful to Mr. Trump. David Gelles, New York Times, "Trump Focuses on Economy at Davos, Seeking a Counter to Impeachment," 21 Jan. 2020 Bolton believes any concessions, including face-to-face meetings, are seen by the North Koreans as signs of weakness and are therefore unhelpful. Josh Rogin, The Seattle Times, "Why Trump canceled Secretary of State Pompeo’s trip to North Korea," 28 Aug. 2018 Current and former Nike employees say culture problems have persisted at the company for years, and that the human-resources department has been unhelpful or in some cases disrespectful to employees seeking to remedy workplace complaints. Sara Germano, WSJ, "Nike’s HR Chief Says Company Fails to Promote Enough Women, Minorities—Memo," 4 Apr. 2018 And if the woman is not religious this is even more unhelpful. 2. Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Redbook, "Michelle Duggar Miscarries #20: What Not To Say to a Woman Who's Had a Miscarriage," 9 Dec. 2011 British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab welcomed the move but the State Department called it unhelpful. BostonGlobe.com, "UK charges US diplomat’s wife over teen’s death in crash - The Boston Globe," 21 Dec. 2019 British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab welcomed the move, but the State Department called it unhelpful. Jill Lawless, Anchorage Daily News, "UK charges American diplomat’s wife over teen’s death in crash," 20 Dec. 2019 Watch for Red Flags Plenty of RDs and nutritionists preach food doctrines that can be unhelpful at best and dangerous at worst. ​molly Hurford, Outside Online, "What Exactly Is a Nutritionist?," 17 Dec. 2019 Next, to consciously reframe these unhelpful thoughts, try to find a more positive alternative. Melody Wilding, Quartz at Work, "How to make hypersensitivity your strongest skill at work," 9 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for unhelpful

Time Traveler

The first known use of unhelpful was circa 1616

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Statistics for unhelpful

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unhelpful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unhelpful. Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for unhelpful


How to pronounce unhelpful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unhelpful

: giving no help : not helpful or useful

More from Merriam-Webster on unhelpful

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Spanish Central: Translation of unhelpful

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