Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

helter–skelter

play
adverb hel·ter–skel·ter \ˌhel-tər-ˈskel-tər\

Simple Definition of helter–skelter

  • : in a confused and careless way

  • : in no particular order

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of helter–skelter

  1. 1 :  in undue haste, confusion, or disorder <ran helter–skelter, getting in each other's way — F. V. W. Mason>

  2. 2 :  in a haphazard manner

Origin of helter–skelter

perhaps from Middle English skelten to come, go


First Known Use: 1593


2

helter–skelter

noun hel·ter–skel·ter

Simple Definition of helter–skelter

  • : a slide that twists around a tower at an amusement park

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of helter–skelter

  1. 1 :  a disorderly confusion :  turmoil

  2. 2 British :  a spiral slide around a tower at an amusement park

1713

First Known Use of helter–skelter

1713


3

helter–skelter

adjective hel·ter–skel·ter

Definition of helter–skelter

  1. 1 :  confusedly hurried :  precipitate

  2. 2 :  marked by a lack of order or plan :  haphazard <the helter–skelter arrangement of the papers, all mussed and frayed — Jean Stafford>



1708

First Known Use of helter–skelter

1708


HELTER–SKELTER Defined for Kids

helter–skelter

play
adverb hel·ter–skel·ter \ˌhel-tər-ˈskel-tər\

Definition of helter–skelter for Students

  1. 1 :  in a confused and reckless manner <Children raced helter-skelter through the house.>

  2. 2 :  in great disorder <Toys were thrown helter-skelter around the room.>




Learn More about helter–skelter


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up helter–skelter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a division or portion of a pool or whole

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1926873504

Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?

superficial tetchy gregarious flashy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ