hel·​i·​con | \ ˈhe-lə-ˌkän How to pronounce helicon (audio) , -li-kən\

Definition of helicon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large circular tuba similar to a sousaphone but lacking an adjustable bell


geographical name
Hel·​i·​con | \ ˈhe-lə-ˌkän How to pronounce Helicon (audio) , -li-kən\
variants: or Modern Greek Elikón \ ˌe-​lē-​ˈkȯn How to pronounce Elikón (audio) \

Definition of Helicon (Entry 2 of 2)

mountain 5735 feet (1748 meters) high in southwestern Boeotia, east central Greece, near the Gulf of Corinth

Illustration of helicon

Illustration of helicon


In the meaning defined above

Examples of helicon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In order to solve the problem, the Japanese and Australian scientists propose using what's known as a helicon double-layer thruster. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Space Junk Solution Would Clean Up Debris With Ion Beams," 27 Sep. 2018

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

First Known Use of helicon


circa 1875, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for helicon


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

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Time Traveler for helicon

The first known use of helicon was circa 1875

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More from Merriam-Webster on helicon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with helicon

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about helicon

Comments on helicon

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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