to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist: He planned to help me with my work. Let me help you with those packages.
to save; rescue; succor: Help me, I'm falling!
to make easier or less difficult; contribute to; facilitate: The exercise of restraint is certain to help the achievement of peace.
to be useful or profitable to: Her quick mind helped her career.
to refrain from; avoid (usually preceded by can or cannot): He can't help doing it.
to relieve or break the uniformity of: Small patches of bright color can help an otherwise dull interior.
to relieve (someone) in need, sickness, pain, or distress.
to remedy, stop, or prevent: Nothing will help my headache.
to serve food to at table (usually followed by to): Help her to salad.
to serve or wait on (a customer), as in a store.
to give aid; be of service or advantage: Every little bit helps.
the act of helping; aid or assistance; relief or succor.
a person or thing that helps: She certainly is a help in an emergency.
(used as an exclamation to call for assistance or to attract attention.)
help out, to assist in an effort; be of aid to: Her relatives helped out when she became ill.
Idioms about help
cannot / can't help but, to be unable to refrain from or avoid; be obliged to: Still, you can't help but admire her.
help oneself to,
to serve oneself; take a portion of: Help yourself to the cake.
to take or use without asking permission; appropriate: They helped themselves to the farmer's apples. Help yourself to any of the books we're giving away.
so help me, (used as a mild form of the oath “so help me God”) I am speaking the truth; on my honor: That's exactly what happened, so help me.
- help·a·ble, adjective
- un·der·help, noun
- un·help·a·ble, adjective
- un·helped, adjective
- well-helped, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use help in a sentence
People living in some of the most affected countries often do not have governments that can meet these criteria, making it difficult for them to be eligible to get international help.Natural disasters are increasing. The world’s poorest are left to fend for themselves. | Jariel Arvin | November 20, 2020 | Vox
Portland has needed defensive help in the frontcourt and on the wings since parting with Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless in 2019.NBA free agency tracker (plus trades): Warriors acquire Kelly Oubre; 76ers trade Al Horford to Thunder | Ben Golliver | November 20, 2020 | Washington Post
As Washington scrapes the bottom of its roster to find help, it may have to turn to the top of the depth chart.Washington is now down to its fourth option at left tackle: Right tackle Morgan Moses | Nicki Jhabvala | November 19, 2020 | Washington Post
He decided to turn to the community for help — a role reversal, after helping others for years.A restaurant that fed the homeless said it might have to close. Donations poured in. | Paulina Firozi | November 19, 2020 | Washington Post
Cleveland had the worst record in the East last year, and it needs help at virtually every position.NBA draft winners and losers: A win for LaMelo Ball, woe for the Warriors | Ben Golliver | November 19, 2020 | Washington Post
If anything the work the two cops and the maintenance guy were doing deserves more respect and probably helped a lot more people.
Being something of a political cipher may have helped Revels rise to prominence.The Black Man Who Replaced Jefferson Davis in the Senate | Philip Dray | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Investigators will focus on whether the sudden emergency was so extreme that no degree of pilot skill would have helped.Flight 8501 Poses Question: Are Modern Jets Too Automated to Fly? | Clive Irving | January 4, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
But Scott, in taking the parlance of the street to the SportsCenter desk, helped affirm its ascendance.Remembering ESPN’s Sly, Cocky, and Cool Anchor Stuart Scott | Stereo Williams | January 4, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Another set of hackers that goes by the name the Lizard Squad told the Washington Post that they helped with the Sony hack.U.S. Spies Say They Tracked ‘Sony Hackers’ For Years | Shane Harris | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
He was aware that his act by this time, had helped nobody, had made no one happy or satisfied—not even himself.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
His strong legs and his broad, spade-like feet helped to make him a fine swimmer.The Tale of Grandfather Mole | Arthur Scott Bailey
You might do for the United States what your English great-grandfather helped to do for this country in 1832.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
But in one respect the currency notes helped to maintain the country's gold standard.Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
To save his life, Hugh could not have helped laughing, though it was evidently a matter of serious importance.Rosemary in Search of a Father | C. N. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for help
to assist or aid (someone to do something), esp by sharing the work, cost, or burden of something: he helped his friend to escape; she helped him climb out of the boat
to alleviate the burden of (someone else) by giving assistance
(tr) to assist (a person) to go in a specified direction: help the old lady up from the chair
to promote or contribute to: to help the relief operations
to cause improvement in (a situation, person, etc): crying won't help
(tr; preceded by can, could, etc; usually used with a negative)
to avoid or refrain from: we can't help wondering who he is
(usually foll by it) to prevent or be responsible for: I can't help it if it rains
to alleviate (an illness, etc)
(tr) to serve (a customer): can I help you, madam?
(tr foll by to)
to serve (someone with food, etc) (usually in the phrase help oneself): may I help you to some more vegetables?; help yourself to peas
to provide (oneself with) without permission: he's been helping himself to money out of the petty cash
cannot help but to be unable to do anything else except: I cannot help but laugh
help a person off with to assist a person in the removal of (clothes)
help a person on with to assist a person in the putting on of (clothes)
so help me
on my honour
no matter what: so help me, I'll get revenge
the act of helping, or being helped, or a person or thing that helps: she's a great help
a person hired for a job; employee, esp a farm worker or domestic servant
(functioning as singular) several employees collectively
a means of remedy: there's no help for it
used to ask for assistance
- See also help out
- helpable, adjective
- helper, 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
Other Idioms and Phrases with help
In addition to the idioms beginning with help
- helping hand
- help oneself
- help out
- can't help but
- every little bit helps
- not if one can help it
- so help me
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.