Idioms for help

Origin of help

before 900; Middle English helpen, Old English helpan; cognate with German helfen


1 encourage, befriend; support, second, uphold, back, abet. Help, aid, assist, succor agree in the idea of furnishing another with something needed, especially when the need comes at a particular time. Help implies furnishing anything that furthers one's efforts or relieves one's wants or necessities. Aid and assist, somewhat more formal, imply especially a furthering or seconding of another's efforts. Aid implies a more active helping; assist implies less need and less help. To succor, still more formal and literary, is to give timely help and relief in difficulty or distress: Succor him in his hour of need.
3 further, promote, foster.
6 ameliorate.
7 alleviate, cure, heal.
12 support, backing.

usage note for help

21. Help but, in sentences like She's so clever you can't help but admire her, has been condemned by some as the ungrammatical version of cannot help admiring her, but the idiom is common in all kinds of speech and writing and can only be characterized as standard.


Example sentences from the Web for helped

British Dictionary definitions for helped

/ (hɛlp) /




used to ask for assistance
See also help out

Derived forms of help

helpable, adjective helper, noun

Word Origin for help

Old English helpan; related to Old Norse hjalpa, Gothic hilpan, Old High German helfan

Idioms and Phrases with helped