Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “help”

See all translations

help

verb uk   /help/ us  

help verb (MAKE EASIER)

A1 [I or T] to make it possible or easier for someone to do something, by doing part of the work yourself or by providing advice, money, support, etc.: How can I help you? I wonder if you could help me - I'd like some information about flights to New Zealand. My dad said he would help with the costs of (= give part of the cost of) buying a house. [+ obj + (to) infinitive ] The $10,000 loan from the bank helped her (to) start her own business. I feel that learning English will help (= improve) my chances of promotion at work. Nothing can help her now (= her situation is too bad for anyone to be able to improve it).
See also
B2 [I or T] If something helps a difficult or painful situation, it improves it or makes it easier or less painful: The morphine didn't seem to help (the pain). [+ (to) infinitive] If something or someone helps to do something, that thing or person is one of several reasons for it happening: The drought has helped (to) make this a disastrous year for Somalia.
More examples

help verb (STOP YOURSELF)

can't/couldn't help B1 If you can't/couldn't help something, such as acting in a particular way or making a particular remark, you are/were not able to control or stop it: It was awful, but I couldn't help laughing. "Stop giggling!" "I can't help it!" I can't help thinking (= my true feeling is that) she'd be better off without him.

help verb (GIVE/TAKE)

B1 [T] to give something to someone: Can I help you to some more soup?
More examples
help yourself B1 to take something for yourself: "Might I have some more bread?" "Please, help yourself!"
Phrasal verbs

help

noun uk   /help/ us  
A2 [U] the act of helping another person: Do you need any help with those boxes? Her parents gave her some help with her bank loan (= paid some of it).B2 [S] something or someone that helps: Having a satnav would be a help. He was a great help (to me) while my husband was away. [C] UK old-fashioned someone who is employed to clean and do other small jobs: a home helpthe help old-fashioned a person or the people employed to work in someone's home doing cleaning, cooking, caring for children, etc.
More examples

help

exclamation uk   /help/ us  
help!
More examples
A2 shouted by a person who is asking for someone to come and save them from a dangerous situation
(Definition of help from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of help?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “help” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

tinsel

long pieces of thin, shiny material used as decoration, especially at Christmas

Word of the Day

Party Talk (The language of party chat)

by Kate Woodford,
December 23, 2014
​​​ With the party season in full swing (= at its busiest now), we consider the language of socializing (= enjoying yourself with other people). We’re looking especially at words and phrases which are used to describe the different ways that people behave at a party and the sort of conversations that party

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More