What does help mean?

Definitions for help

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word help.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. aid, assist, assistance, helpnoun

    the activity of contributing to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose

    "he gave me an assist with the housework"; "could not walk without assistance"; "rescue party went to their aid"; "offered his help in unloading"

  2. assistant, helper, help, supporternoun

    a person who contributes to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose

    "my invaluable assistant"; "they hired additional help to finish the work"

  3. aid, assistance, helpnoun

    a resource

    "visual aids in teaching"

  4. avail, help, serviceverb

    a means of serving

    "of no avail"; "there's no help for it"

  5. help, assist, aidverb

    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"

  6. help, aidverb

    improve the condition of

    "These pills will help the patient"

  7. help, facilitateverb

    be of use

    "This will help to prevent accidents"

  8. help oneself, helpverb

    abstain from doing; always used with a negative

    "I can't help myself--I have to smoke"; "She could not help watching the sad spectacle"

  9. serve, helpverb

    help to some food; help with food or drink

    "I served him three times, and after that he helped himself"

  10. helpverb

    contribute to the furtherance of

    "This money will help the development of literacy in developing countries"

  11. avail, helpverb

    take or use

    "She helped herself to some of the office supplies"

  12. helpverb

    improve; change for the better

    "New slipcovers will help the old living room furniture"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Helpnoun

    Etymology: from the verb; hulpe, Dutch.

    Muleasses, despairing to recover the city, hardly escaped his enemies hands by the good help of his uncle. Richard Knolles.

    He may be beholden to experience and acquired notions, where he thinks he has not the least help from them. John Locke.

    So great is the stupidity of some of those, that they may have no sense of the help administred to them. George Smalridge.

    Coral is in use as an help to the teeth of children. Francis Bacon.

    Though these contrivances increase the power, yet they proportionably protract the time: that which by such helps one man may do in a hundred days, may be done by the immediate strength of a hundred men in one day. John Wilkins.

    Virtue is a friend and an help to nature; but it is vice and luxury that destroys it, and the diseases of intemperance are the natural product of the sins of intemperance. South.

    Another help St. Paul himself affords us towards the attaining the true meaning contained in his epistles. John Locke.

    There is no help for it, but he must be taught accordingly to comply with that faulty way of writing. William Holder, on Speech.

  2. To HELPverb

    preter. helped, or holp; part. helped, or holpen.

    Etymology: hilpan, Gothick; helpan , Saxon.

    Let us work as valiant men behoves;
    For boldest hearts good fortune helpeth out. Edward Fairfax, b. ii.

    God helped him against the Philistines. 2 Chro. xxvi. 7.

    They helped them in all things with silver and gold. 1 Esdr.

    A man reads his prayers out of a book, as a means to help his understanding and direct his expressions. Edward Stillingfleet.

    This he conceives not hard to bring about,
    If all of you should join to help him out. Dryden.

    What I offer is so far from doing any diskindness to the cause these gentlemen are engaged in, that it does them a real service, and helps them out with the main thing whereat they stuck. John Woodward, Natural History.

    The god of learning and of light,
    Would want a god himself to help him out. Jonathan Swift.

    Woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Eccl. iv. 10.

    Having never learned any laudable manual art, they have recourse to those foolish or ill ways in use to help off their time. John Locke.

    Wherever they are at a stand, help them presently over the difficulty without any rebuke. John Locke.

    Help and ease them, but by no means bemoan them. John Locke.

    Love doth to her eyes repair,
    To help him of his blindness. William Shakespeare, Two Gent. of Verona.

    Cease to lament for that thou can’st not help;
    And study help for that which thou lament’st. William Shakespeare.

    If they take offence when we give none, it is a thing we cannot help, and therefore the whole blame must lie upon them. Robert Sanderson.

    It is a high point of ill nature to make sport with any man’s imperfections, that he cannot help. Roger L'Estrange.

    Those closing skies might still continue bright;
    But who can help it, if you’ll make it night. Dryden.

    She, betwixt her modesty and pride,
    Her wishes, which she could not help, would hide. Dryden.

    It is reckoned ill manners for men to quarrel upon difference in opinion, because that is a thing which no man can help in himself. Jonathan Swift.

    Those few who reside among us, only because they cannot help it. Jonathan Swift.

    He cannot help believing, that such things he saw and heard. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    I cannot help remarking the resemblance betwixt him and our author in qualities, fame, and fortune. Alexander Pope.

    If you make the earth narrower at the bottom than at the top, in fashion of a sugar-loaf reversed, it will help the experiment. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    Whom they would help to a kingdom, those reign; and whom again they would, they displace. 1 Mac. viii. 13.

    The man that is now with Tiresias can help him to his oxen again. Roger L'Estrange.

    In plenty starving, tantaliz’d in state,
    And complaisantly help’d to all I hate;
    Treated, caress’d, and tir’d, I take my leave. Alexander Pope.

  3. To Helpverb

    Sir, how come it you
    Have holp to make this rescue? William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Discreet followers and servants help much to reputation. Francis Bacon.

    Bennet’s grave look was a pretence,
    And Danby’s matchless impudence
    Help’d to support the knave. Dryden.

    A generous present helps to persuade as well as an agreeable person. Samuel Garth.

    Some, wanting the talent to write, made it their care that the actors should help out where the muses failed. Thomas Rymer.


  1. Help

    I Can't Help It is a song written and recorded by English girl group Bananarama. It is included on their fourth studio album Wow! and was released as its third single except in the U. S., where it was the album's second single (following "I Heard a Rumour") and Australia, where it was the album's fourth single (after "I Want You Back"). The track was co-written and produced by the Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW) trio. The song is a disco-influenced pop tune similar to many hits produced by SAW during this time period The single peaked at number 20 in the UK singles chart, #27 on the Australian ARIA chart (where it was released in August 1988), and #47 on the U. S. Billboard Hot 100. A hit in nightclubs, "I Can't Help It" climbed to number seven on the U. S. Hot Dance Club Play chart. This is the final Bananarama single to feature Siobhan Fahey, who announced her departure shortly after its release. The photos on the record sleeve were taken by famous American photographer Herb Ritts. The record sleeves for "I Can't Help It" and "Love In The First Degree" were switched with each other for the UK and North American markets.


  1. help

    Help can be defined as the action of providing assistance, support, or aid to someone in order to alleviate a problem, meet a need, or achieve a desired outcome. It involves offering guidance, advice, resources, or physical assistance to enable another person to overcome a difficulty or accomplish a task effectively. Help can come in various forms, such as emotional support, financial aid, instructions, material assistance, or simply lending a listening ear.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Helpverb

    to furnish with strength or means for the successful performance of any action or the attainment of any object; to aid; to assist; as, to help a man in his work; to help one to remember; -- the following infinitive is commonly used without to; as, "Help me scale yon balcony."

  2. Helpverb

    to furnish with the means of deliverance from trouble; as, to help one in distress; to help one out of prison

  3. Helpverb

    to furnish with relief, as in pain or disease; to be of avail against; -- sometimes with of before a word designating the pain or disease, and sometimes having such a word for the direct object

  4. Helpverb

    to change for the better; to remedy

  5. Helpverb

    to prevent; to hinder; as, the evil approaches, and who can help it?

  6. Helpverb

    to forbear; to avoid

  7. Helpverb

    to wait upon, as the guests at table, by carving and passing food

  8. Helpverb

    to lend aid or assistance; to contribute strength or means; to avail or be of use; to assist

  9. Helpverb

    strength or means furnished toward promoting an object, or deliverance from difficulty or distress; aid; ^; also, the person or thing furnishing the aid; as, he gave me a help of fifty dollars

  10. Helpverb

    remedy; relief; as, there is no help for it

  11. Helpverb

    a helper; one hired to help another; also, thew hole force of hired helpers in any business

  12. Helpverb

    specifically, a domestic servant, man or woman

  13. Etymology: [AS. help; akin to D. hulp, G. hlfe, hilfe, Icel. hjlp, Sw. hjelp, Dan. hielp. See Help, v. t.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Help

    help, v.t. to support: to assist: to mitigate: to give means for doing anything: to provide or supply with: to remedy: to prevent, to keep from.—v.i. to give assistance: to contribute:—pa.p. helped, (B.) hōlp′en.n. means or strength given to another for a purpose: assistance: relief: one who assists: (Amer.) a hired servant, esp. a domestic.—n. Help′er, one who helps: an assistant.—adj. Help′ful, giving help: useful.—n. Help′fulness.—adj. Help′less, without help or power in one's self: wanting assistance.—adv. Help′lessly.—ns. Help′lessness; Help′mate, an assistant: a partner: a wife—also written Help′meet, from Gen. ii. 18.—Help forward, to assist in making progress; Help off, to aid in disposing or getting rid of; Help on, to forward, to lift up; Help out, to aid in finishing a task, eking out a supply, &c.; Help over, to enable to surmount; Help to, to aid in obtaining for some one; Help up, to raise.—God help him, a phrase implying extreme pity or commiseration.—So help me God, a very strong asseveration, implying the willingness of the speaker to let his chance of salvation depend upon his truthfulness. [A.S. helpan, pa.t. healp, pa.p. holpen; Ice. hjálpa, Ger. helfen, to aid.]

Editors Contribution

  1. help

    To provide support or contribute.

    The children love to help prepare dinner.

    Submitted by MaryC on October 18, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. HELP

    What does HELP stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the HELP acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'help' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #318

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'help' in Written Corpus Frequency: #389

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'help' in Nouns Frequency: #400

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'help' in Verbs Frequency: #48

How to pronounce help?

How to say help in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of help in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of help in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of help in a Sentence

  1. Divit Gupta:

    I am very happy that I'm making people smile and am able to brighten a senior's day by writing notes, my message to other kids my age is to be kind to others, help out in the community, and that you can make a difference, no matter how old you are.

  2. Martin Hoffman:

    The fact that kidney injury markers were normalized or improving within 24 hours should help alleviate fear of permanent kidney injury, and supports what we have previously demonstrated.

  3. Amir Somoggi:

    We were hood-winked, they said the World Cup would help Brazil take a huge leap forwards in terms of public transportation but all they did was the stadiums. The economy is no longer in a great shape so there is no guarantee that they will be finished.

  4. President Barack Obama:

    Those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others on their journey.

  5. Bethany Moultry:

    A child that is just about to turn six is saying they want to help people, i felt like I had to give her an avenue to do that. It is not every day that you hear anybody saying that, adults or children.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for help

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • hulp, helpAfrikaans
  • aduya, aduyarAragonese
  • مساعدة, ساعد, عاونArabic
  • kömək etməkAzerbaijani
  • ярҙамсы, ярҙамBashkir
  • дапамога, дапамагаць, памагаць, дапамагчы, памагчыBelarusian
  • помощ, помогна, помагамBulgarian
  • সাহায্য, সাহায্য করাBengali
  • ajuda, ajudar, aidarCatalan, Valencian
  • aiutàCorsican
  • nápověda, pomocník, pomocnice, pomoc, pomoct, pomoci, pomáhatCzech
  • hjælp, hjælpeDanish
  • Hilfe, helfenGerman
  • βοήθεια, συντρέχω, βοηθάωGreek
  • helpilo, helpisto, helpo, servisto, helpanto, helpiEsperanto
  • auxilio, ayuda, socorro, ayudarSpanish
  • abi, koduabiline, abiline, abistama, aitama, panustamaEstonian
  • laguntzaile, laguntza, lagunduBasque
  • کمک, یاری, کمک کردن, یاری کردنPersian
  • apuri, apu, opastaa, auttaaFinnish
  • aide, auxiliaire, secours, aider, secourirFrench
  • help, helpeWestern Frisian
  • cuidiú, cúnamh, cabhair, cabhraigh, tug cúnamh, cuidighIrish
  • cuidichScottish Gaelic
  • axuda, axudarGalician
  • עזרה, סיוע, סייע, תרם, עזרHebrew
  • सहायता, उपकार, मदद, मदद करनाHindi
  • èd, edeHaitian Creole
  • segítség, segítHungarian
  • օգնական, օգնություն, օգնելArmenian
  • adjuta, succurso, succurrer, adjutarInterlingua
  • pertolongan, penolong, bantuan, pembantu, membantu, menahan, bantu, menolong, TolongIndonesian
  • helpo, helparIdo
  • aðstoð, hjálparhella, heimilishjálp, hjálp, fulltingi, hjálpaIcelandic
  • aiuto, ausilio, aiutareItalian
  • 手伝い, 助け, ヘルプ, 手助け, 手伝う, 助けるJapanese
  • დახმარებაGeorgian
  • жәрдем, көмек, ермек ету, көмек көрсету, көмектесу, жәрдем беру, болысуKazakh
  • ជំនួយ, ជួយKhmer
  • 도움, 돕다Korean
  • خزمه‌تکار, alîkarî, misaede, piştevanî, yarmetî, komekî, destek, یارمه‌تی, piştgirî, یارمه‌تی دانKurdish
  • көмөк, жардам, көмөк берүү, жардам кылуу, жардам берүү, жардам көрсөтүүKyrgyz
  • auxilium, adiuvō, adiūtōLatin
  • Hëllef, hëllefenLuxembourgish, Letzeburgesch
  • ຊ່ອຍ, ຊ່ວຽLao
  • pagalba, padėtiLithuanian
  • palīgs, palīdzība, palīdze, palīdzēt, līdzētLatvian
  • помош, помошник, помошничка, помагаMacedonian
  • സഹായി, സഹായംMalayalam
  • тусламжMongolian
  • bantuan, pertolongan, bantu, tolongMalay
  • għajnunaMaltese
  • ကူညီ, ကူBurmese
  • मदत गर्नुNepali
  • hulp, helpenDutch
  • hjelp, hushjelp, hjelpe til med, hjelpe, hjelpe for, hjelpe til, bidra tilNorwegian
  • iilyeedNavajo, Navaho
  • aidar, ajudarOccitan
  • ӕххуыс кӕнынOssetian, Ossetic
  • pomoc domowa, pomoc, pomagaćPolish
  • auxílio, criado, ajuda, ajudante, criada, socorro, servente, socorrer, ajudarPortuguese
  • yanapayQuechua
  • güdar, gidar, güderRomansh
  • asistență, ajutoare, ajutor, asista, ajutaRomanian
  • помощь, помощница, помощник, помочь, помогатьRussian
  • agiudai, agiadai, agiuareSardinian
  • pȍmōć, pomòćnica, pomòćnīk, по̏мо̄ћ, pòmoći, pomágati, по̀моћи, пома́гатиSerbo-Croatian
  • උදව් කරනවාSinhala, Sinhalese
  • pomoc, pomôcť, pomáhaťSlovak
  • pomoč, pomočnik, pomagáč, gospodinjska pomočnica, pomagatiSlovene
  • shërbëtor, ndihmes, ndihmë, shërbëtore, asistent, kontriboAlbanian
  • bantosSundanese
  • hjälp, hjälpaSwedish
  • msaada, kusaidiaSwahili
  • உதவிTamil
  • సాయము, సహాయము, సాయం చేయు, సహాయపడుTelugu
  • комак, ёри, кумак кардан, ёри карданTajik
  • ความช่วยเหลือ, ช่วยเหลือ, ช่วยThai
  • kömek, ýardam, ýardam etmek, kömekleşmekTurkmen
  • tulong, tumulong, tulunganTagalog
  • yardım, yardımcı, yardım etmek, yardım etTurkish
  • ярдәм, ярдәм күрсәтергә, ярдәм итәргәTatar
  • допомога, допомогти, помагати, помогти, допомагатиUkrainian
  • مدد, مدد کرناUrdu
  • koʻmak, yordam, bermoq, yordamlashmoq, qarashmoq, yordam bermoqUzbek
  • hỗ trợ, giúp đỡ, trợ giúp, giúpVietnamese
  • yufVolapük
  • הילףYiddish
  • 帮帮我Chinese

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    fill with high spirits; fill with optimism
    A elate
    B efface
    C famish
    D render

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