help Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “help” in the English Dictionary

"help" in British English

See all translations

helpverb

uk   us   /help/

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 ​providingadvice, ​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 ​learningEnglish 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 ​painfulsituation, 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 ​disastrousyear 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 ​particularremark, 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 ​truefeeling 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

helpnoun

uk   us   /help/
A2 [U] the ​act of helping another ​person: Do you need any help with those ​boxes? Her ​parents gave her some help with her ​bankloan (= ​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 ​smalljobs: a ​home helpthe help old-fashioned a ​person or the ​peopleemployed to ​work in someone's ​home doing ​cleaning, ​cooking, ​caring for ​children, etc.
More examples

helpexclamation

uk   us   /help/
help!
More examples
A2 shouted by a ​person who is ​asking for someone to come and ​save them from a ​dangeroussituation
(Definition of help from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"help" in American English

See all translations

helpverb

 us   /help/

help verb (MAKE EASIER)

[I/T] to make it ​possible or ​easier for someone to do something: [T] How can I help you? [T] Please help those less ​fortunate than you are. [+ to infinitive] Avoiding ​fattyfoods and ​salt can help to ​bring down ​yourbloodpressure. [I/T] If something helps a ​difficult or ​painfulsituation, it ​improves it or makes it ​easier or less ​painful: [T] Aspirin will help ​relieve the ​pain. [I/T] You ​shout "Help!" in an ​emergency when you need the ​immediatesupport of someone ​else.

help verb (GIVE/TAKE)

[T] to ​serve something to someone, or to take something for yourself: Help yourself to more ​cake.
Phrasal verbs

helpnoun [U]

 us   /help/

help noun [U] (ACT OF HELPING)

the ​act of making it ​possible or ​easier for someone to do something: Do you need help with those ​boxes? My ​parents gave us ​financial help when we ​boughtour first ​house.
(Definition of help from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"help" in Business English

See all translations

helpnoun [U]

uk   us   /help/ WORKPLACE
workers who are ​employed for a ​shorttime during ​periods when there is a lot of ​work: We often take on help during the ​busyseason.
(Definition of help from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of help?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day
public school

in England, an expensive type of private school (= school paid for by parents not by the government)

Word of the Day

Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
by ,
August 27, 2015
The English language is constantly changing. You know that. But did you know that at Cambridge Dictionaries Online we keep track of the changes? We continually add new words and new meanings to our online dictionary for learners of English. Some of them are new to English entirely (neologisms), and some are new to our

Read More 

hyperpalatable adjective
hyperpalatable adjective
August 24, 2015
describes food with heightened levels of sugar and salt, intended to be extremely appealing In Brazil, where the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has doubled since 1980, crisps, biscuits, energy bars and sugary drinks formulated to be ‘hyper-palatable’ are much more widely eaten than previously.

Read More