[hel-uh n]


Also called Helen of Troy. Classical Mythology. the beautiful daughter of Zeus and Leda and wife of Menelaus whose abduction by Paris was the cause of the Trojan War.
a female given name.

Origin of Helen

< French Hélène < Latin Helena < Greek Helénē, of obscure origin, probably the name of a pre-Greek vegetation goddess; often linked by folk etymology with helénē, helánē torch, St. Elmo's fire, an unrelated word
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for helen

Contemporary Examples of helen

Historical Examples of helen

  • Moreover, little Helen got in the first remark in the way of serious conversation.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • I had particular attention paid to Helen's skating on that very account.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • He wrote to his cousin Helen asking if he might bring a friend with him.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • The story was there recorded in black and white on the page written by Helen Morris.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • By all who have seen her, Helen Winship is pronounced the most beautiful of women.

British Dictionary definitions for helen



Greek myth the beautiful daughter of Zeus and Leda, whose abduction by Paris from her husband Menelaus caused the Trojan War
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

Word Origin and History for helen


fem. proper name, from French Hélène, from Latin Helena, from Greek Helene, fem. proper name, probably fem. of helenos "the bright one." Among the top 10 popular names for girl babies in the U.S. born between 1890 and 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper