help·​ful ˈhelp-fəl How to pronounce helpful (audio)
 Southern often  ˈhep-,
 also  ˈheəp-
: of service or assistance : useful
a helpful neighbor
helpful advice
just trying to be helpful
helpfully adverb
helpfulness noun

Example Sentences

A helpful neighbor shoveled our walkway. a kind and helpful person
Recent Examples on the Web Though all such vitamins and minerals are helpful in maintaining a healthy head of hair, vitamin B12 deficiency is one frequently marketed by some organizations as causing hair loss. Daryl Austin, USA TODAY, 23 Mar. 2023 Vitamin C supplements can be helpful in increasing blood levels of the vitamin.141 Endurance athletes. Sarah Anzlovar, Ms, Verywell Health, 23 Mar. 2023 For one, taxi-whistling can, in fact, be helpful in hailing cabs. Jon Gluck, New York Times, 21 Mar. 2023 Although the bivalent vaccines have been helpful, new data suggests that just like the boosters that came before them, their protection may be starting to drop off. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 21 Mar. 2023 Hayden said President Biden’s executive order last week, which increases the number of background checks for gun purchases, is helpful. Globe Columnist,, 21 Mar. 2023 This is helpful, especially for our arteries, since inflammation may trigger the development of plaque, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. Audrey Bruno, SELF, 21 Mar. 2023 Flip the booking process If possible, being flexible about your destination is also helpful. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 21 Mar. 2023 If knowledge is power, however, then the advice above will be helpful for anyone considering starting a cannabis business. Alissa Jubelirer, Rolling Stone, 21 Mar. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'helpful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


see help entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of helpful was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near helpful

Cite this Entry

“Helpful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


help·​ful ˈhelp-fəl How to pronounce helpful (audio)
: providing help
a helpful neighbor
helpfully adverb
helpfulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on helpful

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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