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helping

[hel-ping] /ˈhɛl pɪŋ/
noun
1.
the act of a person or thing that helps.
2.
a portion of food served to a person at one time:
That's his third helping of ice cream.
adjective
3.
giving aid, assistance, support, or the like.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English; see help, -ing1, -ing2
Related forms
helpingly, adverb
unhelping, adjective

help

[help] /hɛlp/
verb (used with object)
1.
to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist:
He planned to help me with my work. Let me help you with those packages.
2.
to save; rescue; succor:
Help me, I'm falling!
3.
to make easier or less difficult; contribute to; facilitate:
The exercise of restraint is certain to help the achievement of peace.
4.
to be useful or profitable to:
Her quick mind helped her career.
5.
to refrain from; avoid (usually preceded by can or cannot):
He can't help doing it.
6.
to relieve or break the uniformity of:
Small patches of bright color can help an otherwise dull interior.
7.
to relieve (someone) in need, sickness, pain, or distress.
8.
to remedy, stop, or prevent:
Nothing will help my headache.
9.
to serve food to at table (usually followed by to):
Help her to salad.
10.
to serve or wait on (a customer), as in a store.
verb (used without object)
11.
to give aid; be of service or advantage:
Every little bit helps.
noun
12.
the act of helping; aid or assistance; relief or succor.
13.
a person or thing that helps:
She certainly is a help in an emergency.
14.
a hired helper; employee.
15.
a body of such helpers.
16.
a domestic servant or a farm laborer.
17.
means of remedying, stopping, or preventing:
The thing is done, and there is no help for it now.
18.
Older Use. helping (def 2).
interjection
19.
(used as an exclamation to call for assistance or to attract attention.)
Verb phrases
20.
help out, to assist in an effort; be of aid to:
Her relatives helped out when she became ill.
Idioms
21.
cannot / can't help but, to be unable to refrain from or avoid; be obliged to:
Still, you can't help but admire her.
22.
help oneself to,
  1. to serve oneself; take a portion of:
    Help yourself to the cake.
  2. to take or use without asking permission; appropriate:
    They helped themselves to the farmer's apples. Help yourself to any of the books we're giving away.
23.
so help me, (used as a mild form of the oath “so help me God”) I am speaking the truth; on my honor:
That's exactly what happened, so help me.
Origin
before 900; Middle English helpen, Old English helpan; cognate with German helfen
Related forms
helpable, adjective
underhelp, noun
unhelpable, adjective
unhelped, adjective
well-helped, adjective
Synonyms
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.
Antonyms
3, 11. hinder. 7. afflict. 13. hindrance.
Usage note
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for helping
  • Experimental therapies are helping many children with severe food allergies eat peanut butter or milk without getting sick.
  • Reading stories can fine-tune your social skills by helping you better understand other human beings.
  • And that's when the process of helping our crustaceans shed their mortal coil truly began.
  • Thanks for helping us in getting know to pomegranate salad.
  • They seemed happy only when they were helping the students in some manner.
  • If sympathy becomes distorted and morbid, it hampers instead of helping the effort toward social betterment.
  • If one succeeds in helping him to overcome this new resistance, then he regains his insight and his understanding.
  • Small animals called cleaner shrimps have found a way of helping fish at coral reefs.
  • When the adult bats leave the cave at night to feed, they are helping humans.
  • Get the students and community involved in helping to conserve rare, threatened, and endangered species and their habitats.
British Dictionary definitions for helping

helping

/ˈhɛlpɪŋ/
noun
1.
a single portion of food taken at a meal

help

/hɛlp/
verb
1.
to assist or aid (someone to do something), esp by sharing the work, cost, or burden of something he helped his friend to escape, she helped him climb out of the boat
2.
to alleviate the burden of (someone else) by giving assistance
3.
(transitive) to assist (a person) to go in a specified direction help the old lady up from the chair
4.
to promote or contribute to to help the relief operations
5.
to cause improvement in (a situation, person, etc) crying won't help
6.
(transitive; preceded by can, could, etc; usually used with a negative)
  1. to avoid or refrain from we can't help wondering who he is
  2. (usually foll by it) to prevent or be responsible for I can't help it if it rains
7.
to alleviate (an illness, etc)
8.
(transitive) to serve (a customer) can I help you, madam?
9.
(transitive) foll by to
  1. to serve (someone with food, etc) (usually in the phrase help oneself) may I help you to some more vegetables?, help yourself to peas
  2. to provide (oneself with) without permission he's been helping himself to money out of the petty cash
10.
cannot help but, to be unable to do anything else except I cannot help but laugh
11.
help a person off with, to assist a person in the removal of (clothes)
12.
help a person on with, to assist a person in the putting on of (clothes)
13.
so help me
  1. on my honour
  2. no matter what so help me, I'll get revenge
noun
14.
the act of helping, or being helped, or a person or thing that helps she's a great help
15.
a helping
16.
  1. a person hired for a job; employee, esp a farm worker or domestic servant
  2. (functioning as sing) several employees collectively
17.
a means of remedy there's no help for it
interjection
18.
used to ask for assistance
See also help out
Derived Forms
helpable, adjective
helper, noun
Word Origin
Old English helpan; related to Old Norse hjalpa, Gothic hilpan, Old High German helfan
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 helping
n.

"aid, assistance," late 13c., from present participle of help (v.). Meaning "serving food" is from 1824; that of "a portion of food" is from 1883.

help

v.

Old English helpan (class III strong verb; past tense healp, past participle holpen) "help, support, succor; benefit, do good to; cure, amend," from Proto-Germanic *helpan (cf. Old Norse hjalpa, Old Frisian helpa, Middle Dutch and Dutch helpen, Old High German helfan, German helfen), from PIE root *kelb- "to help" (cf. Lithuanian selpiu "to support, help").

Recorded as a cry of distress from late 14c. Sense of "serve someone with food at table" (1680s) is translated from French servir "to help, stead, avail," and led to helping "portion of food." Related: Helped (c.1300). The Middle English past participle holpen survives in biblical and U.S. dialectal use.

n.

Old English help (m.), helpe (f.) "assistance, succor;" see help (v.). Most Germanic languages also have the noun form, cf. Old Norse hjalp, Swedish hjälp, Old Frisian helpe, Dutch hulp, Old High German helfa, German Hilfe. Use of help as euphemism for "servant" is American English, 1640s, tied up in notions of class and race.

A domestic servant of American birth, and without negro blood in his or her veins ... is not a servant, but a 'help.' 'Help wanted,' is the common heading of advertisements in the North, when servants are required. [Chas. Mackay, "Life and Liberty in America," 1859].
Though help also meant "assistant, helper, supporter" in Middle English (c.1200).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for helping

HELP

Health Education Library for People
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with helping
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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