hel·​i·​con ˈhe-lə-ˌkän How to pronounce helicon (audio)
: a large circular tuba similar to a sousaphone but lacking an adjustable bell

Illustration of helicon

Illustration of helicon

Examples of helicon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Allan Jaffe, who played the helicon, a brass instrument, was the link to the musicians and sent them out on the road as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'helicon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably from Greek helik-, helix + English -on (as in bombardon); from its tube's forming a spiral encircling the player's body

First Known Use

circa 1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of helicon was circa 1875

Dictionary Entries Near helicon

Cite this Entry

“Helicon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helicon. Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Hel·​i·​con ˈhe-lə-ˌkän How to pronounce Helicon (audio)
variants or Modern Greek Elikón
mountain 5735 feet (1748 meters) high in southwestern Boeotia, east central Greece, near the Gulf of Corinth

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