Definition of helpmate in English:


(also helpmeet)


  • A helpful companion or partner, especially one's husband or wife.

    ‘she acted as his pleasant but by no means uncritical helpmate’
    • ‘Each of these women exhibits a need to give and receive love, and each finds fulfilment as a helpmate and companion to a deserving man.’
    • ‘You were looking for someone responsible and reliable who would be a helpmate for the tasks of life.’
    • ‘Central to the Vichy vision, she argues, was the eternal female, ever supportive, fertile, and pure, in a timeless social and moral order where women were mothers, the helpmates of men, and guardians of moral probity.’
    • ‘Ladies of ‘distinguished place’ who maintained that position of honour did so by their individual healing merits, not as helpmates to husbands.’
    • ‘He does not want for a sister, but a wife who will be his helpmeet until his death.’
    • ‘Like the work of some notable popular historians, they sought to ensure women a place in this chronicle, even if only as helpmeets of founding fathers.’
    • ‘I have a message to women: Only reproduce with men who are willing helpmates, and we will get rid of this problem in a few generations.’
    • ‘Graham's book never comes close to acknowledging that her newspaper mainly functioned as a helpmate to the war-makers in the White House, State Department and Pentagon.’
    • ‘Apparently Adam was moping around the Garden of Eden because, well, because, like all men, he couldn't really cope without a helpmeet.’
    • ‘She has done an excellent job of being a helpmate to my father.’
    • ‘Evangelical ideals of husbands' headship as providers, leaders and decision-makers, and wives' subordination as helpmates and mothers were ideally matched to post-War ideals for family life.’
    • ‘And I think that Jack Kennedy discovered what a wonderful helpmate and wife she was in those years.’
    • ‘The tendency among reformers to regard women as mothers and helpmeets rather than workers had several consequences for American labor reform.’
    • ‘She fought her whole life against the idea that women either had to be married and grace their husband's dinner table or single and exploited by other members of the extended family as helpmates and free nurses.’
    • ‘She was meant to be his companion, his helpmeet, and this required a level of education that fitted her for this role.’
    • ‘The biography of William Blake warmly portrays the visionary poet's wife Katherine as the helpmate who made Blake's work possible.’
    • ‘The villagers entered the hut then, and it became obvious to John that these were not ordinary Santa's helpers, but his closest confidantes and helpmates.’
    • ‘His wife Jane is an efficient superwoman who doubles as his helpmate and surrogate social worker.’
    • ‘Throughout their years together, Mrs Reagan was her husband's champion, helpmate and closest adviser.’
    • ‘They saw themselves not as independent thinkers but as helpmates and surrogates to absent husbands and fathers.’
    companion, partner, associate, assistant, helper, helpmeet, attendant, escort
    spouse, partner, consort, mate, husband, wife
    View synonyms


Late 17th century (as helpmeet): from an erroneous reading of Gen. 2:18, 20, where Adam's future wife is described as ‘an help meet for him’ (i.e. a suitable helper for him). The variant helpmate came into use in the early 18th century.