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helpful

[help-fuh l]
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adjective
  1. giving or rendering aid or assistance; of service: Your comments were very helpful.

Origin of helpful

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at help, -ful
Related formshelp·ful·ly, adverbhelp·ful·ness, nouno·ver·help·ful, adjectiveo·ver·help·ful·ly, adverbo·ver·help·ful·ness, nounqua·si-help·ful, adjectivequa·si-help·ful·ly, adverbun·help·ful, adjectiveun·help·ful·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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useful, convenient; beneficial, advantageous.

Antonyms

useless, inconvenient.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unhelpful

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It is good for nothing else that I know of: strong; but unhelpful and unthoughtful.

  • All I did actually say was commonplace and unhelpful enough.

    The Record of Nicholas Freydon

    A. J. (Alec John) Dawson

  • In southern Gaul, as it happens, archaeological remains are unhelpful.

  • And to this man she must present herself, late, penniless and unhelpful.

    The City of Delight

    Elizabeth Miller

  • He was a young man from Montpelier, just beginning to practise, and very mysterious and technical and modern and unhelpful.

    Tono Bungay

    H. G. Wells


British Dictionary definitions for unhelpful

unhelpful

adjective
  1. not serving a useful function

helpful

adjective
  1. serving a useful function; giving help
Derived Formshelpfully, adverbhelpfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for unhelpful

adj.

1590s, from un- (1) "not" + helpful. Related: Unhelpfully; unhelpfulness.

helpful

adj.

late 14c., from help (n.) + -ful. Related: Helpfully; helpfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper