• synonyms


[hel-i-kuh l, hee-li-]
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  1. pertaining to or having the form of a helix; spiral.
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Origin of helical

First recorded in 1605–15; helic- + -al1
Related formshel·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for helical

Historical Examples

  • The centrifugal strain due to this is balanced by helical springs.

    Steam Turbines

    Hubert E. Collins

  • The translation of a body in helical motion is called its advance.

  • The Ford transverse rear spring was supplemented by two helical springs placed vertically between the Ford and tractor frames.

    Deeds of a Great Railway

    G. R. S. Darroch

  • He invented the helical form of the balance spring and a form of chronometer escapement much like Earnshaw's.

    Time Telling through the Ages

    Harry Chase Brearley

  • To give the water a rotary motion he had inserted a helical piece of angle iron, and so prevented deposition.

British Dictionary definitions for helical


  1. of or shaped like a helix; spiral
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Derived Formshelically, adverb
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 helical


"spiral-shaped," 1590s, from Latin helicem (see helix) + -al (1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

helical in Medicine


(hĕlĭ-kəl, hēlĭ-)
  1. Of or having the shape of a helix; spiral.
  2. Having a shape approximating that of a helix.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.