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Definition of help verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

Oxford3000

help

verb
/hɛlp/ help pronunciation American
 

make easier/better

1 [intransitive, transitive] to make it easier or possible for someone to do something by doing something for them or by giving them something that they needHelp, I'm stuck! help with somethingHe always helps with the housework. help someoneWe must try to help each other. help someone with somethingJo will help us with some of the organization. help (someone) in doing somethingI need contacts that could help me in finding a job. help someone (to) do somethingThe college's goal is to help students (to) achieve their aspirations.This charity works to help people (to) help themselves.Come and help me lift this box. help (to) do somethingShe helped (to) organize the party.help In verb patterns with a to infinitive, the “to” is often left out, especially in informal or spoken English.2 [intransitive, transitive] to improve a situation; to make it easier for something to happenIt helped being able to talk about it.The money raised will help toward (= partly provide) the cost of organizing the championships. help somethingIt doesn't really help matters knowing that everyone is talking about us. help (to) do somethingThis should help (to) reduce the pain.We need new measures to help (to) fight terrorism.

someone to move

3 [transitive] help someone + adverb/preposition to help someone move by letting them lean on you, guiding them, etc.She helped him to his feet.We were helped ashore by local people.

give food/drink

4 [transitive] to give yourself/someone food, drinks, etc. help yourselfIf you want another drink, just help yourself. help yourself/someone to somethingCan I help you to some more salad?

steal

5 [transitive] help yourself to something (informal, disapproving) to take something without permission synonym stealHe'd been helping himself to the money in the cash register.
IDIOMS

someone can (not) help (doing) something

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someone can not help but do something

used to say that it is impossible to prevent or avoid something
I can't help thinking he knows more than he has told us.He can't help being ugly.She couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking.He never does more work than he can help (= he does as little as possible).I always end up having an argument with her, I don't know why, I just can't help it.I couldn't help it if the bus was late (= it wasn't my fault).She burst out laughing—she couldn't help herself (= couldn't stop herself).She won't be invited again, not if I can help it (= if I can do anything to prevent it).can helpcan not help doing

it can't be helped

used to say that there is no way of avoiding a bad situation
It couldn't be helped (= there was no way of avoiding it and we must accept it).it can't be helped

give/lend a helping hand

to help someone
give a helping handlend a helping hand

God/Heaven help someone

(informal) used to say that you are afraid someone will be in danger or that something bad will happen to themGod help us if this doesn't work.help Some people find this use offensive.God helpHeaven help

so help me (God)

used to swear that what you are saying is true, especially in a court of law
so help meso help me God
PHRASAL VERBS

help someone off/on with something

to help someone put on/take off a piece of clothingLet me help you off with your coat.help off withhelp on with

help out

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help someoneout

to help someone, especially in a difficult situationHe's always willing to help out.When I bought the house, my sister helped me out with a loan.help out