he·​li·​um | \ ˈhē-lē-əm How to pronounce helium (audio) , ˈhēl-yəm \

Definition of helium

: a chemical element of the noble gas group found especially in natural gases and used chiefly for inflating airships and balloons, as a coolant for superconductors, and as a component of inert atmospheres (as in welding) — see Chemical Elements Table

Examples of helium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Eventually, the helium in a red giant's core will be spent, and the core will shrink again. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 29 Mar. 2022 Its pumps and valves shoot helium gas throughout MIRI. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 18 Apr. 2022 Already home to the second-largest amount of trust lands, Grand County’s inventory would grow by 27,416 acres, nearly all with potential for helium and hydrocarbons. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Apr. 2022 Among the most serious problems is a stuck helium valve on the rocket’s second stage that has prevented that stage from being loaded with fuel. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 15 Apr. 2022 There are similarities, though; both yachts are powered by helium blimps and can take to the sky or sea. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 14 Apr. 2022 The issue engineers identified over the weekend is a malfunctioning helium check valve. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 14 Apr. 2022 Two more ground system problems caused additional delays before the helium valve issue was identified. William Harwood, CBS News, 12 Apr. 2022 If cooled to liquid-helium temperatures, the circuitry could carry out a single bit-swap operation in less than 15 nanoseconds. Philip Ball, Scientific American, 29 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of helium

1871, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for helium

New Latin, from Greek hēlios

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Helium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helium. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for helium


he·​li·​um | \ ˈhē-lē-əm How to pronounce helium (audio) \

Kids Definition of helium

: a very light gaseous chemical element that is found in various natural gases, will not burn, and is used in balloons


he·​li·​um | \ ˈhē-lē-əm How to pronounce helium (audio) \

Medical Definition of helium

: a light colorless nonflammable gaseous element found especially in natural gases and used chiefly for inflating airships and balloons, for filling incandescent lamps, and for cryogenic research symbol He — see Chemical Elements Table

More from Merriam-Webster on helium

Nglish: Translation of helium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of helium for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about helium


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