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

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Other Words from helical

helically \ ˈhe-​li-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce helically (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

The task with the helical molecule took about the same amount of time in both environments, however. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, "It’s Time for a Chemistry Lesson. Put on Your Virtual Reality Goggles.," 3 July 2018 The microtubules and ropelike filaments that form the cell’s transportation infrastructure feature helical structures, which are vital to their function. Frank Wilczek, WSJ, "The Peculiar Power of Nature’s Left and Right," 5 July 2018 Still, no matter what their arrangement, the amino acids fold themselves into just a handful of helical shapes and sheets. Charles S. Cockell, WSJ, "The Limits of Extra-Terrestrial Freakiness," 7 June 2018 Yes, the helical limited-slip differential puts the power down without wasteful wheelspin. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "America finally gets Honda’s best: The 2018 Civic Type R," 22 Jan. 2018 The scientists saw mineral crystals just five nanometers in diameter unexpectedly twisting into and around these collagen strands—forming a helical structure. Angus Chen, Scientific American, "Core Strength: Extreme “Close Ups” May Help Explain Why Our Bones Are So Strong," 3 May 2018 That movie showed, for the first time, the twisting motions of the plasma, suggesting that the jet has a helical structure. Eileen Meyer, Smithsonian, "Big Data is Transforming How Astronomers Make Discoveries," 15 May 2018 The folded shape of the i-motif only occurs in a relatively small region of a genome — sticking out like a bumpy knot in the smooth helical shape of the rest of a strand of DNA. Deborah Netburn, latimes.com, "In human cells, scientists find DNA that looks like a twisted knot instead of a double helix," 23 Apr. 2018 But an 18-ton gearbox in each nacelle (the mechanical room at the top of the tower) connects the driveshaft to two sets of planetary gears (cogs within a cog) and a helical gearset, like what most cars use, to wind up to 1,900 rpm at the generator. Matt Allyn, Popular Mechanics, "The Wind Catchers," 6 Feb. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of helical

1591, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of helical was in 1591

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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 helically (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on helical

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with helical

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