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help - definition and synonyms

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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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verb     help pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlehelping
past tensehelped
past participlehelped
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to give someone support or information so that they can do something more easily

    If you are finding that difficult, I could help you.

    Mary was anxious to help.

    help someone (to) do something:

    Can you help me find my glasses?

    help someone with something:

    Her brother offered to help her with her homework.

    help someone through something:

    They helped me through a very difficult time.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to support someone when they move from one position to another or when they do some other action

    I’ll help you to the door.

    Can I help you off with your coat (=help you to take it off)?

  3. 3
    [transitive] to give someone something, especially food or drink
    help someone to something:

    Can I help you to more vegetables?

    help yourself to something (=take some of it):

    Help yourselves to more wine.

  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] to make a situation better

    More police officers on the streets would help.

    1. a.
      to make it easier to achieve something
      help (to) do something:

      The new measure will help boost trade.

      We hope this helps to clarify the situation.

      help towards:

      Further study will help towards a better understanding of the problem.

phrasal verbs

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to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

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Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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