help Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Definition of “help” - English Dictionary

"help" in American English

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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 British English

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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.

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  • 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?

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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.

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helpexclamation

uk   us   /help/
help!

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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 Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"help" in Business English

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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)
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