helix

noun
he·​lix | \ ˈhē-liks How to pronounce helix (audio) \
plural helices\ ˈhe-​lə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce helix (audio) , ˈhē-​ \ also helixes\ ˈhē-​lik-​səz How to pronounce helix (audio) \

Definition of helix

1 : something spiral in form: such as
a : an ornamental volute
b : a coil formed by winding wire around a uniform tube
2 : the incurved rim of the external ear
3 : a curve traced on a cylinder or cone by the rotation of a point crossing its right sections at a constant oblique angle broadly : spiral sense 1b

Examples of helix in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sketches show trees and green space spiraling along the exterior of the building, which in addition to a helix also resembles a Christmas tree or a soft-serve ice cream cone. Matthew Barakat, Star Tribune, "Headquarters helix: Amazon reveals eye-catching office tower," 2 Feb. 2021 Arranged in 73 rows and 23 columns, the bits formed pictures of a stick man, the radio telescope, a DNA helix, the solar system, the numbers 1 through 10 and more. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Arecibo Observatory, a Great Eye on the Cosmos, Is Going Dark," 19 Nov. 2020 After climbing a 95-foot hill, the stand-up trains dropped and immediately went into a loop, then a double-helix coil – like its namesake – that made riders stand nearly sideways. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, "Top 10 retired Kings Island rides we'll miss the most on National Roller Coaster Day," 14 Aug. 2020 After a 138-foot drop, the track had a dizzying combo of two vertical loops, a 200-foot corkscrew, a boomerang turn (something like a bow-tie shape) and a 360-degree helix, churning the stomachs of 46 million riders. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, "Top 10 retired Kings Island rides we'll miss the most on National Roller Coaster Day," 14 Aug. 2020 The unique design incorporates a helix made of a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), wrapped around the outside of the hose. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Garden Hoses for More Than Just Your Garden," 26 June 2020 Only when seen against the inflationary helix of American higher education can the singularity of this achievement be fully appreciated. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "The College President Who Simply Won’t Raise Tuition," 7 Apr. 2020 Only when seen against the inflationary helix of American higher education can the singularity of this achievement be fully appreciated. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "The College President Who Simply Won’t Raise Tuition," 7 Apr. 2020 But in real life, these amino acids tend to curl up into a helix or stretch out into a sheet. Vineeth Venugopal, Science | AAAS, "Scientists have turned the structure of the coronavirus into music," 3 Apr. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of helix

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for helix

Latin, from Greek; akin to Greek eilyein to roll, wrap — more at voluble

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about helix

Statistics for helix

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Helix.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helix. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for helix

helix

noun

English Language Learners Definition of helix

: the shape formed by a line that curves around and along a central line

helix

noun
he·​lix | \ ˈhē-liks How to pronounce helix (audio) \
plural helices\ ˈhel-​ə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce helix (audio) , ˈhē-​lə-​ How to pronounce helix (audio) \ also helixes\ ˈhē-​lik-​səz How to pronounce helix (audio) \

Medical Definition of helix

1 : the incurved rim of the external ear
2 : a curve traced on a cylinder by the rotation of a point crossing its right sections at a constant oblique angle broadly : spiral sense 2 — see alpha-helix, double helix

More from Merriam-Webster on helix

Nglish: Translation of helix for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of helix for Arabic Speakers

Comments on helix

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!