Thesaurus

help

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of help

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to provide (someone) with what is useful or necessary to achieve an end
  • offered to help her widowed father when he moved into an apartment

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2 to make more bearable or less severe
  • the new ointment didn't help Josh's sunburn one bit

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4 to provide with something useful or desirable
  • being independently wealthy certainly helped him during his years as a struggling young artist

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5 to make better
  • some minor revisions would help this essay immensely

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help

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of help (Entry 2 of 2)

2 a thing that helps
  • the computer is a great help for writing reports

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3 a body of persons at work or available for work
  • it's so hard to get good help these days

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About help

How is the word help distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of help are ameliorate, better, and improve. While all these words mean "to make more acceptable or to bring nearer a standard," help implies a bettering that still leaves room for improvement.

a coat of paint would help that house

In what contexts can ameliorate take the place of help?

Although the words ameliorate and help have much in common, ameliorate implies making more tolerable or acceptable conditions that are hard to endure.

tried to ameliorate the lives of people in the tenements

How do improve and better relate to one another, in the sense of help?

Both improve and better are general and interchangeable and apply to what can be made better whether it is good or bad.

measures to further improve the quality of medical care

immigrants hoping to better their lot

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Learn More about help

Time Traveler for help

Time Traveler

The first known use of help was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Help.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/help. Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on help

Dictionary: Definition of help

Nglish: Translation of help for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of help for Arabic Speakers

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