helix

noun
he·​lix | \ ˈhē-liks How to pronounce helix (audio) \
plural helices\ ˈhe-​lə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce helices (audio) , ˈhē-​ \ also helixes\ ˈhē-​lik-​səz How to pronounce helixes (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 Collagen’s molecular structure is something called a complex triple helix, like three pieces of rope twisted together. Brooke Russell, Quartzy, "Drinking collagen has health benefits—but don’t put it in your coffee," 5 Oct. 2019 Collagen’s molecular structure is something called a complex triple helix, like three pieces of rope twisted together. Brooke Russell, Quartzy, "Drinking collagen has health benefits—but don’t put it in your coffee," 5 Oct. 2019 Starting from scratch Both DNA and RNA can form a double helix, with the exterior of the helix formed by sugars linked through phosphates. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Single reaction mixture can produce all four RNA bases," 4 Oct. 2019 Collagen’s molecular structure is something called a complex triple helix, like three pieces of rope twisted together. Brooke Russell, The Conversation, "Collagen in your coffee? A scientist says forget it," 18 Sep. 2019 Like the helixes your solar system makes spiraling through the ether. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Following a river of questions in eastern India," 16 Oct. 2019 Certain molecular interactions require a triple helix shape in order to function. Brooke Russell, Quartzy, "Drinking collagen has health benefits—but don’t put it in your coffee," 5 Oct. 2019 The base pairing that holds the double helix together always involves pairing a one-ringed base with a two-ringed base, which maintains a constant width of the helix. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Single reaction mixture can produce all four RNA bases," 4 Oct. 2019 Certain molecular interactions require a triple helix shape in order to function. Brooke Russell, The Conversation, "Collagen in your coffee? A scientist says forget it," 18 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for helix

Time Traveler

The first known use of helix was in 1563

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Statistics for helix

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Helix.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helix. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for helix

helix

noun
How to pronounce helix (audio)

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 helices (audio) , ˈhē-​lə-​ How to pronounce helices (audio) \ also helixes\ ˈhē-​lik-​səz How to pronounce helixes (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

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More from Merriam-Webster on helix

Spanish Central: Translation of helix

Nglish: Translation of helix for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of helix for Arabic Speakers

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