he·​li·​cal | \ ˈhe-li-kəl How to pronounce helical (audio) , ˈhē- How to pronounce helical (audio) \

Definition of helical

: of, relating to, or having the form of a helix broadly : spiral sense 1a

Other Words from helical

helically \ ˈhe-​li-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce helical (audio) , ˈhē-​ \ adverb

Examples of helical in a Sentence

Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens, travels a helical path through space.
Recent Examples on the Web These helical tube lights create the effect of a meteor shower or falling snow, with each strand including eight foot-long tubes. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, 5 Aug. 2022 Traditional perforating is when perforations (perfs) are shot in a helical pattern, with lots of holes all around the casing. Ian Palmer, Forbes, 27 June 2022 Additionally, five mutations in the central helical region, N764K, D796Y, N856K, L981F, and N969K introduce and facilitate additional hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interactions between the S2 trimers (Figure 4). William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 6 May 2022 To solve this problem, the researchers looked at how helical waves are generated in light beams and then translated the idea to mechanical waves. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 2 Mar. 2022 The helical detailing pops up elsewhere, too, including on the electric chair that Benicio del Toro’s Moses Rosenthaler briefly straps himself into. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 9 Dec. 2021 Its nucleus, just a few microns wide, contains six feet of DNA: helical molecules that string together some three billion pairs of nucleotides, each represented by an initial—A, C, G, and T—the programming language of our genetic code. Raffi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker, 15 Nov. 2021 In addition to forming the helical nucleocapsid, N is reported to be required for packaging the viral into infectious particles. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 This green algae Spirogyra has one of the most fascinating chloroplast shapes of all algae – a helical shape, or spiral. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 20 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'helical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of helical

1591, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for helical

Time Traveler

The first known use of helical was in 1591

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Dictionary Entries Near helical



helical gear

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Statistics for helical

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Helical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helical. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for helical


he·​li·​cal | \ ˈhel-i-kəl How to pronounce helical (audio) , ˈhē-li- How to pronounce helical (audio) \

Medical Definition of helical

: of, relating to, or having the form of a helix the helical configuration of DNA broadly : spiral sense 1a

Other Words from helical

helically \ -​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce helical (audio) \ adverb


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