Other forms: helped; helping; helps

The verb help means to give aid or assistance to. You can help your friend organize a car wash at school by making posters and putting them up all over town.

Help can also mean to serve food or drink––as in, "Help yourself!" But don't serve yourself too much or there won't be enough for a second helping. One last meaning for help is the people hired to provide domestic services in a home. A nanny, a housekeeper, a gardener are often referred to somewhat derisively as "the help," because their job is helping the family.

Definitions of help
  1. verb
    give help or assistance; be of service
    “Everyone helped out during the earthquake”
    “Can you help me carry this table?”
    “She never helps around the house”
    synonyms: aid, assist
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    alleviate, ease, facilitate
    make easier
    assist, attend, attend to, serve, wait on
    work for or be a servant to
    help as a benefactor
    help out
    be of help, as in a particular situation of need
    be helpful or useful
    succor, succour
    help in a difficult situation
    expedite, hasten
    speed up the progress of; facilitate
    be of use to, be useful to
    care, give care
    provide care for
    help oneself, often through improvised means
    take care of an infant without breastfeeding it
    serve as a personal attendant to
    attend, look, see, take care
    take charge of or deal with
    fuss, mother, overprotect
    care for like a mother
    serve as a nurse; care for sick or handicapped people
    act as a servant for older boys, in British public schools
    type of:
    back up, support
    give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to
  2. verb
    improve the condition of
    “These pills will help the patient”
    synonyms: aid
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    bring around, cure, heal
    provide a cure for, make healthy again
    benefit, do good
    be beneficial for
    restore to good health or strength
    type of:
    ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
    make better
  3. verb
    improve; change for the better
    “New slipcovers will help the old living room furniture”
  4. verb
    be of use
    “This will help to prevent accidents”
    synonyms: facilitate
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    type of:
    contribute or conduce to
  5. verb
    contribute to the furtherance of
    “This money will help the development of literacy in developing countries”
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    type of:
    advance, boost, encourage, further, promote
    contribute to the progress or growth of
  6. noun
    the activity of contributing to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose
    “offered his help in unloading”
    synonyms: aid, assist, assistance
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    the act of helping or improving yourself without relying on anyone else
    act of assisting or making easier the progress or improvement of something
    hand, helping hand
    physical assistance
    recourse, refuge, resort
    act of turning to for assistance
    with the help of or owing to
    ministration, relief, succor, succour
    assistance in time of difficulty
    the act of giving temporary assistance
    an act of help or assistance
    the act of providing something (lodging or seat or food) to meet a need
    boost, encouragement
    the act of giving hope or support to someone
    assistance, such as that provided to an enemy or to a known criminal
    aiding the cause or policy or interests of
    the performance of duties by a waiter or servant
    child care, childcare
    a service involving care for other people's children
    community service
    an unpaid service for the benefit of the public that is performed by lawbreakers as part (or all) of their sentence
    community service, public service
    a service that is performed for the benefit of the public or its institutions
    help desk, helpdesk
    a service that provides information and assistance to the users of a computer network
    the service of ushering people to their seats
    morale booster, morale building
    anything that serves to increase morale
    comfort, consolation, solace
    the act of consoling; giving relief in affliction
    adherence, adhesion, attachment
    faithful support for a cause or political party or religion
    advocacy, protagonism
    active support of an idea or cause etc.; especially the act of pleading or arguing for something
    the act of sponsoring (either officially or financially)
    endorsement, indorsement
    the act of endorsing
    approval, approving, blessing
    the formal act of approving
    the act of reassuring; restoring someone's confidence
    alleviation of distress; showing great kindness toward the distressed
    type of:
    any specific behavior
  7. noun
    a person who contributes to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose
    “they hired additional help to finish the work”
    synonyms: assistant, helper, supporter
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    an assistant to a bishop
    accomplice, confederate
    a person who joins with another in carrying out some plan (especially an unethical or illegal plan)
    aide, auxiliary
    someone who acts as an assistant
    attendant, attender, tender
    someone who waits on or tends to or attends to the needs of another
    bat boy
    (baseball) a boy who takes care of bats and other baseball equipment
    dental assistant
    an assistant to a dentist
    deputy, lieutenant
    an assistant with power to act when his superior is absent
    actor's assistant, dresser
    a wardrobe assistant for an actor
    event planner
    someone who plans social events as a profession (usually for government or corporate officials)
    someone who makes progress easier
    flower girl
    a young girl who carries flowers in a (wedding) procession
    girl Friday
    a female assistant who has a range of duties
    enforcer, hatchet man
    one whose job it is to execute unpleasant tasks for a superior
    cat's-paw, instrument, pawn
    a person used by another to gain an end
    birthing coach, doula, labor coach, monitrice
    an assistant (often the father of the soon-to-be-born child) who provides support for a woman in labor by encouraging her to use techniques learned in childbirth-preparation classes
    an assistant or second-in-command to a chief (especially in a crime syndicate)
    fashion model, manakin, manikin, mannequin, mannikin, model
    a woman who wears clothes to display fashions
    model, poser
    a person who poses for a photographer or painter or sculptor
    a trained worker who is not a member of a profession but who assists a professional
    powder monkey
    someone who carries explosives (as from the magazine to the guns on board a warship)
    prompter, theater prompter
    someone who assists a performer by providing the next words of a forgotten speech
    chief assistant, man Friday, right-hand man
    the most helpful assistant
    secretarial assistant, secretary
    an assistant who handles correspondence and clerical work for a boss or an organization
    (Church of England) an assistant to the churchwarden; collects offerings of money in the church
    foot soldier, subordinate, subsidiary, underling
    an assistant subject to the authority or control of another
    water boy, waterer
    an assistant who supplies drinking water
    huntsman's assistant in managing the hounds
    one paid to accompany or assist or live with another
    artist's model, sitter
    a person who poses for a painter or sculptor
    a person with subordinate membership in a society, institution, or commercial enterprise
    an attendant who takes care of baggage
    an orderly assigned to serve a British military officer
    bellboy, bellhop, bellman
    someone employed to carry luggage and run errands in a hotel
    bottom dog
    a person of low status
    bridesmaid, maid of honor
    an unmarried woman who attends the bride at a wedding
    caddie, golf caddie
    an attendant who carries the golf clubs for a player
    an attendant who checks coats or baggage
    a subordinate who performs an important but routine function
    an attendant at the court of a sovereign
    the attendant (usually an officer of a nobleman's household) whose duty is to fill and serve cups of wine
    decoy, steerer
    a beguiler who leads someone into danger (usually as part of a plot)
    dressmaker's model
    someone who models dresses
    a personal attendant of the British royal family
    an attendant who is employed to accompany someone
    (Middle Ages) an attendant and shield bearer to a knight; a candidate for knighthood
    executive secretary
    a secretary having administrative duties and responsibilities
    a close attendant (as to a scholar)
    a young male attendant on a Scottish Highlander chief
    a male attendant of the bridegroom at a wedding
    lifeguard, lifesaver
    an attendant employed at a beach or pool to protect swimmers from accidents
    linkboy, linkman
    (formerly) an attendant hired to carry a torch for pedestrians in dark streets
    an attendant who loads guns for someone shooting game
    a male subordinate
    matron of honor
    a married woman serving as the attendant to the bride at a wedding
    nurse's aide, nursing aide
    someone who assists a nurse in tasks that require little formal training
    hospital attendant, orderly
    a male hospital attendant who has general duties that do not involve the medical treatment of patients
    a soldier who serves as an attendant to a superior officer
    page, varlet
    in medieval times a youth acting as a knight's attendant as the first stage in training for knighthood
    a youthful attendant at official functions or ceremonies such as legislative functions and weddings
    legal assistant, paralegal
    a person with specialized training who assists lawyers
    paramedic, paramedical
    a person trained to assist medical professionals and to give emergency medical treatment
    photographer's model
    a model who poses for photographers
    an attendant who puts pool or billiard balls into a rack
    a secretary whose main duty is to answer the telephone and receive visitors
    an attendant who rocks a child in a cradle
    the official attendant of a contestant in a duel or boxing match
    second banana, second fiddle
    someone who serves in a subordinate capacity or plays a secondary role
    someone who relieves a commander
    someone who performs the duties of an attendant for someone else
    social secretary
    a personal secretary who handles your social correspondence and appointments
    a young nobleman attendant on a knight
    gallant, squire
    a man who attends or escorts a woman
    amanuensis, shorthand typist, stenographer
    someone skilled in the transcription of speech (especially dictation)
    flight attendant, steward
    an attendant on an airplane
    litter-bearer, stretcher-bearer
    one who helps carry a stretcher
    a fashion model who has attained the status of a celebrity
    one who holds up the train of a gown or robe on a ceremonial occasion
    (Roman Catholic Church) an administrative deputy who assists a bishop
    a regent's deputy
    arouser, rouser, waker
    someone who rouses others from sleep
    someone employed to park and retrieve cars
    type of:
    a person who works at a specific occupation
  8. noun
    a resource
    synonyms: aid, assistance
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    type of:
    a source of aid or support that may be drawn upon when needed
  9. noun
    a means of serving
    “there's no help for it”
    synonyms: avail, service
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    type of:
    the property of providing useful assistance
  10. verb
    abstain from doing; always used with a negative
    “She could not help watching the sad spectacle”
    synonyms: help oneself
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    type of:
    forbear, refrain
    resist doing something
  11. verb
    take or use
    “She helped herself to some of the office supplies”
    synonyms: avail
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    type of:
    exploit, work
    use or manipulate to one's advantage
  12. verb
    help to some food; help with food or drink
    “I served him three times, and after that he helped himself”
    synonyms: serve
    dish, dish out, dish up, serve, serve up
    provide (usually but not necessarily food)
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    type of:
    cater, ply, provide, supply
    give what is desired or needed, especially support, food or sustenance




DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘help'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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