- a plural of helix.
- a spiral.
- Geometry. the curve formed by a straight line drawn on a plane when that plane is wrapped around a cylindrical surface of any kind, especially a right circular cylinder, as the curve of a screw. Equation: x = a sinθ, y = a cosθ, z = b θ.
- a spiral ornament.
- (in a Corinthian capital) either of two scrolls issuing from a cauliculus.Compare Corinthian(def 2).
- Anatomy. the curved fold forming most of the rim of the external ear.
- Biochemistry. alpha helix.
Origin of helix
- of, relating to, or characteristic of Corinth.
- Architecture. noting or pertaining to one of the five classical orders invented in ancient Greece and similar in most respects to the Ionic but usually of slenderer proportions, and characterized by a deep capital with a round bell decorated with acanthus leaves and a square abacus with concave sides. The Corinthian capital has typically two distinct rows of acanthus leaves above which appear eight fluted sheaths, from each of which spring two scrolls (helices), of which one curls beneath a corner of the abacus as half of a volute and the other curls beneath the center of the abacus.Compare composite(def 3), Doric(def 3), Ionic(def 1), Tuscan(def 2).
- ornate, as literary style.
- luxurious or licentious.
- pertaining to or designating a style of vase painting developed in Corinth, in the 7th and early 6th centuries b.c., characterized chiefly by human, animal, and ornamental motifs, painted boldly in a black figure style on a terra-cotta ground, often arranged in tiers around the vase.
- a native or inhabitant of Corinth.
- a man about town, especially one who lives luxuriously or, sometimes, dissolutely.
- an amateur yachtsman.
- Manège. a horse-show class in which each contestant must be a member of a recognized hunt and wear regulation hunt livery.Compare appointment(def 7).
Origin of Corinthian
Related Words for helicesscrew, tangle, curve, flourish, braid, tendril, trajectory, arc, arch, contour, loop, nexus, contortion, twist, whorl, perplexity, bunch, whirl, ligature, spiral
Examples from the Web for helices
Historical Examples of helices
There were two helices all right, as an explanation of how Pheola could be right and then wrong.The Right Time
Of all Australian Helices, this is perhaps the most curious.Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Vol. 2 (of 2)
On trying to obtain the shock from these helices, I could not succeed at first.Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1
The capital thus shows its true profile, the helices upon front and back, and upon the subordinate sides rolls of their thickness.History of Ancient Art
Franz von Reber
I observed on the beach at this spot some small species of unios, and, at higher points on the shore, helices.
- a plural of helix
- of, characteristic of, or relating to Corinth
- of, denoting, or relating to one of the five classical orders of architecture: characterized by a bell-shaped capital having carved ornaments based on acanthus leavesSee also Ionic, Doric, composite (def. 4), Tuscan
- given to luxury; dissolute
- ornate and elaborate
- a native or inhabitant of Corinth
- an amateur sportsman
- rare a man about town, esp one who is dissolute
- a curve that lies on a cylinder or cone, at a constant angle to the line segments making up the surface; spiral
- a spiral shape or form
- the incurving fold that forms the margin of the external ear
- another name for volute (def. 2)
- any terrestrial gastropod mollusc of the genus Helix, which includes the garden snail (H. aspersa)
Word Origin for helix
Word Origin and History for helices
1650s as an architectural order, from Corinth, the ancient Greek city-state. In classical times Corinth was notorious for its luxury and licentiousness among the Greek states (and for not scorning trade and profit); hence Corinthian, noun and adjective, in various slang or colloquial sense in English, especially "a swell, a man about town" (early to mid-19c. but especially in the 1820s).
"a spiral thing," 1560s, from Latin helix "spiral," from Greek helix (genitive helikos), related to eilein "to turn, twist, roll," from PIE *wel-ik-, from root *wel- "to turn, revolve" (see volvox).
- A spiral form or structure.
- The folded rim of skin and cartilage around most of the outer ear.
- A three-dimensional curve that lies on a cylinder or cone, so that its angle to a plane perpendicular to the axis is constant.
- A three-dimensional spiral curve. In mathematical terms, a helix can be described as a curve turning about an axis on the surface of a cylinder or cone while rising at a constant upward angle from a base.
- Something, such as a strand of DNA, having a spiral shape.
In geometry, a three-dimensional spiral shape, resembling a spring.