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helm1

[helm] /hɛlm/
noun
1.
Nautical.
  1. a wheel or tiller by which a ship is steered.
  2. the entire steering apparatus of a ship.
  3. the angle with the fore-and-aft line made by a rudder when turned:
    15-degree helm.
2.
the place or post of control:
A stern taskmaster was at the helm of the company.
verb (used with object)
3.
to steer; direct.
Origin of helm1
900
before 900; Middle English helme, Old English helma; cognate with Middle High German halme, helm handle, Old Norse hjalm rudder
Related forms
helmless, adjective

helm2

[helm] /hɛlm/
noun
1.
Also, heaume. Also called great helm. a medieval helmet, typically formed as a single cylindrical piece with a flat or raised top, completely enclosing the head.
2.
Archaic. a helmet.
verb (used with object)
3.
to furnish or cover with a helmet.
Origin
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch, German helm; akin to Old English helan to cover. See hull1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for helm
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All this time I kept shouting to the man at the wheel to put his helm "hard down."

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I managed to get the helm hard up, and Mallet jumped inboard.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I happened to be at the helm, and remained in the Mary and Susan.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I then proposed we should clamber aft, and try to get the helm up.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • At this time the brig minded her helm, and fell off, coming under command.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for helm

helm1

/hɛlm/
noun
1.
(nautical)
  1. the wheel, tiller, or entire apparatus by which a vessel is steered
  2. the position of the helm: that is, on the side of the keel opposite from that of the rudder
2.
a position of leadership or control (esp in the phrase at the helm)
verb
3.
(transitive) to direct or steer
Derived Forms
helmless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English helma; related to Old Norse hjalm rudder, Old High German halmo

helm2

/hɛlm/
noun
1.
an archaic or poetic word for helmet
verb
2.
(transitive) (archaic or poetic) to supply with a helmet
Word Origin
Old English helm; related to helan to cover, Old Norse hjalmr, Gothic hilms, Old High German helm helmet, Sanskrit śárman protection
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for helm
n.1

"handle of a tiller," late 13c., from Old English helma "rudder; position of guidance, control," from Proto-Germanic *halbma- (cf. Old Norse hjalm, Old High German helmo, German Helm "handle"), from PIE *kelp- "to hold, grasp" (see helve).

n.2

"a helmet," c.1200, from Old English helm "protection, covering; crown, helmet," and perhaps also from cognate Old Norse hjalmr, from Proto-Germanic *helmaz "protective covering," from PIE *kel- "to cover, to hide" (see cell). Italian elmo, Spanish yelmo are from Germanic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with helm

helm

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for helm

9
10
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