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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[help-fuh l] /ˈhɛlp fəl/
giving or rendering aid or assistance; of service:
Your comments were very helpful.
Origin of helpful
1300-50; Middle English; see help, -ful
Related forms
helpfully, adverb
helpfulness, noun
overhelpful, adjective
overhelpfully, adverb
overhelpfulness, noun
quasi-helpful, adjective
quasi-helpfully, adverb
unhelpful, adjective
unhelpfully, adverb
useful, convenient; beneficial, advantageous.
useless, inconvenient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for helpful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Woodsmen have generally chosen descriptive names which are based on fact and are helpful to learners.

    Trees Worth Knowing Julia Ellen Rogers
  • It is hoped that the work will be as helpful as it has been pleasant to perform.

  • This showed her that Julie was very mental, and was open to every good and helpful suggestion from thought-waves.

    Girl Scouts at Dandelion Camp Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • I looked for help, but Hephzy's expression was not helpful at all.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It is often helpful in arresting attention and therefore has a certain disciplinary function.

    Principles of Teaching Adam S. Bennion
British Dictionary definitions for helpful


serving a useful function; giving help
Derived Forms
helpfully, adverb
helpfulness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for helpful

late 14c., from help (n.) + -ful. Related: Helpfully; helpfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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