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 make easier or less difficult; contribute to; facilitate:
The exercise of restraint is certain to help the achievement of peace.
to refrain from; avoid (usually preceded by
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 serve food to at table (usually followed by
to serve or wait on (a customer), as in a store.
to give aid; be of service or advantage:
the act ofhelping; aid or assistance; relief or succor.
She certainly is a help in an emergency.
a domestic servant or a farm laborer.
means of remedying, stopping, or preventing:
The thing is done, and there is no help for it now.
(used as an exclamation to call for assistance or to attract attention.)
to assist in an effort; be of aid to:
Her relatives helped out when she became ill.
to be unable to refrain from or avoid; be obliged to:
Still, you cant help but admire her.
to serve oneself; take a portion of:
to take or use without asking permission; appropriate:
They helped themselves to the farmers apples. Help yourself to any of the books were giving away.
(used as a mild form of the oath so help me God) I am speaking the truth; on my honor:
Thats exactly what happened, so help me.
. encourage, befriend; support, second, uphold, back, abet.
agree in the idea of furnishing another with something needed, especially when the need comes at a particular time.
implies furnishing anything that furthers ones efforts or relieves ones wants or necessities.
somewhat more formal, imply especially a furthering or seconding of anothers efforts.
implies less need and less help. To
still more formal and literary, is to give timely help and relief in difficulty or distress:
Shes so clever you cant help but admire her,
has been condemned by some as the ungrammatical version of
but the idiom is common in all kinds of speech and writing and can only be characterized as standard.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
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British Dictionary definitions forhelp
to assist or aid (someone to do something), esp by sharing the work, cost, or burden of something
she helped him climb out of the boat
to alleviate the burden of (someone else) by giving assistance
to assist (a person) to go in a specified direction
help the old lady up from the chair
to cause improvement in (a situation, person, etc)
to serve (someone with food, etc) (usually in the phrase
may I help you to some more vegetables?
to provide (oneself with) without permission
hes been helping himself to money out of the petty cash
to be unable to do anything else except
to assist a person in the removal of (clothes)
to assist a person in the putting on of (clothes)
the act of helping, or being helped, or a person or thing that helps
a person hired for a job; employee, esp a farm worker or domestic servant
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
Old Englishhelpan(class III strong verb; past tensehealp, past participleholpen) help, support, succor; benefit, do good to; cure, amend, from Proto-Germanic*helpan(cf. Old Norsehjalpa, Old Frisianhelpa, Middle Dutch and Dutchhelpen, Old High Germanhelfan, Germanhelfen), from PIE root*kelb-to help (cf. Lithuanianselpiuto support, help).
Recorded as a cry of distress from late 14c. Sense of serve someone with food at table (1680s) is translated from Frenchservirto help, stead, avail, and led tohelpingportion of food. Related:Helped(c.1300). The Middle English past participleholpensurvives in biblical and U.S. dialectal use.
Old Englishhelp(m.),helpe(f.) assistance, succor; seehelp(v.). Most Germanic languages also have the noun form, cf. Old Norsehjalp, Swedishhjälp, Old Frisianhelpe, Dutchhulp, Old High Germanhelfa, GermanHilfe. Use ofhelpas euphemism for servant is American English, 1640s, tied up in notions of class and race.
A domestic servant of American birth, and without negro blood in his or her veins … is not a servant, but a help. Help wanted, is the common heading of advertisements in the North, when servants are required. [Chas. Mackay, Life and Liberty in America, 1859].
Thoughhelpalso meant assistant, helper, supporter in Middle English (c.1200).
In addition to the idioms beginning withhelp