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Alternative forms[edit]

  • Hülfe (obsolete, used in variation until the early 20th century)


From Middle High German helfe, hilfe, from Old High German helfa, hilfa, from Proto-West Germanic [Term?], from Proto-Germanic *helpō, *hilpiz (help), from Proto-Germanic *helpaną (to help), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱelb-, *ḱelp- (to help). Among the three Middle High German variants helfe, hilfe, hülfe, the i-form is phonetically intermediate, but in Modern German the northern Hülfe was long predominant. Hilfe was supported, however, by the parallelism with du hilfst, er hilft, and was declared the exclusive standard during the spelling reforms of the early 20th century.


  • IPA(key): /ˈhɪlfə/
  • (file)
  • (file)


Hilfe f (genitive Hilfe, plural Hilfen)

  1. help, aid
    1. (usually uncountable) the act of helping, assistance
      Erste Hilfefirst aid
    2. (countable) a thing or person that helps
      Schwimmhilfeswimming aid
      Haushaltshilfehome help, housekeeper


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