any of various forms of protective head covering worn by soldiers, firefighters, divers, cyclists, etc.
medieval armor for the head.
(in fencing, singlestick, etc.) a protective device for the head and face consisting of reinforced wire mesh.
anything resembling a helmet in form or position.

Origin of helmet

1400–50; late Middle English < Middle French healmet, helmet, diminutive of helme helm2
Related formshel·met·ed, adjectivehel·met·like, adjectiveun·hel·met·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for helmet

armor, hat, busby, kepi, shako

Examples from the Web for helmet

Contemporary Examples of helmet

Historical Examples of helmet

  • Pericles was usually represented with a helmet, to cover the deformity in his skull.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • A helmet fell from his hands on the floor with a ring of steel.


    William J. Locke

  • He threw the helmet with a clatter on to the table as if it had been the knave's canting head.


    William J. Locke

  • "I know not about that," said John, kicking his helmet up into the air and catching it in his hand.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Even the helmet, that covered him with its invisibility, had vanished!

    The Gorgon's Head

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for helmet



a piece of protective or defensive armour for the head worn by soldiers, policemen, firemen, divers, etc
biology a part or structure resembling a helmet, esp the upper part of the calyx of certain flowers
Derived Formshelmeted, adjective

Word Origin for helmet

C15: from Old French, diminutive of helme, of Germanic origin
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 helmet

mid-15c., perhaps a diminutive of Old English helm "protection, covering; crown, helmet" (see helm (n.2)). But Barnhart says from Middle French helmet (Modern French heaume), diminutive of helme "helmet," from the same Germanic source as helm (n.2). "Middle English Dictionary" points to both without making a choice. "Old English helm never became an active term in the standard vocabulary of English." [Barnhart]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper