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[hel-uh t, hee-luh t] /ˈhɛl ət, ˈhi lət/
a member of the lowest class in ancient Laconia, constituting a body of serfs who were bound to the land and were owned by the state.
Compare Perioeci, Spartiate.
(lowercase) a serf or slave; bondman.
Origin of Helot
1570-80; < Latin hēlōtēs (plural) < Greek heílōtes
Related forms
helotage, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Helot
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Just at the moment of starting a Helot approached him with a small roll directed to "Zeuxis, the unrivaled painter of Greece."

  • Still the Helot had in him the common sentiments of our nature.

  • Celeste insensibly fell into a passive attitude, and became what Brigitte wanted her,—a Helot.

    The Lesser Bourgeoisie Honore de Balzac
  • From the king to the Helot 143, the spirit of covetousness spread like a disease.

  • His Helot has unlocked the world behind appearance and made him free of the Spirits of Natural Fact who abide there.

    Lore of Proserpine Maurice Hewlett
  • Paragot did not include my seeing him make a Helot of himself as part of my education.

    The Belovd Vagabond William J. Locke
  • This is not the middle ages; I am an Englishman, not a Helot.

    The Weavers, Complete Gilbert Parker
  • But this was a rare spark of self-respect on the part of the Helot.

  • We have likened the Norman to the Spartan, and, most of all, he was like him in his scorn of the Helot.

    Harold, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for Helot


/ˈhɛlət; ˈhiː-/
(in ancient Greece, esp Sparta) a member of the class of unfree men above slaves owned by the state
(usually not capital) a serf or slave
Word Origin
C16: from Latin Hēlotēs, from Greek Heilōtes, alleged to have meant originally: inhabitants of Helos, who, after its conquest, were serfs of the Spartans
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 Helot



1570s (with a capital -h-) "Spartan serf," from Greek Heilotes, plural of Heilos, popularly associated with Helos, Laconian town reduced to serfdom by Sparta, but perhaps related to Greek halonai "be captured." In extended use by 1820s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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