helter-skelter

adverb
hel·​ter-skel·​ter | \ ˌhel-tər-ˈskel-tər How to pronounce helter-skelter (audio) \

Definition of helter-skelter

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : in undue haste, confusion, or disorder ran helter-skelter, getting in each other's way— F. V. W. Mason
2 : in a haphazard manner

helter-skelter

noun

Definition of helter-skelter (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a disorderly confusion : turmoil
2 British : a spiral slide around a tower at an amusement park

helter-skelter

adjective

Definition of helter-skelter (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : confusedly hurried : precipitate
2 : marked by a lack of order or plan : haphazard the helter-skelter arrangement of the papers, all mussed and frayed— Jean Stafford

First Known Use of helter-skelter

Adverb

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1708, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for helter-skelter

Adverb

perhaps from Middle English skelten to come, go

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Time Traveler for helter-skelter

Time Traveler

The first known use of helter-skelter was in 1593

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Cite this Entry

“Helter-skelter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helter-skelter. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for helter-skelter

helter-skelter

adverb
How to pronounce helter-skelter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of helter-skelter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a confused and careless way
: in no particular order

helter-skelter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of helter-skelter (Entry 2 of 2)

British : a slide that twists around a tower at an amusement park

helter-skelter

adverb
hel·​ter-skel·​ter | \ ˌhel-tər-ˈskel-tər \

Kids Definition of helter-skelter

1 : in a confused and reckless manner Children raced helter-skelter through the house.
2 : in great disorder Toys were thrown helter-skelter around the room.

More from Merriam-Webster on helter-skelter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for helter-skelter

Britannica English: Translation of helter-skelter for Arabic Speakers

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