Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

helm

1
[helm]
noun
  1. Nautical.
    1. a wheel or tiller by which a ship is steered.
    2. the entire steering apparatus of a ship.
    3. the angle with the fore-and-aft line made by a rudder when turned: 15-degree helm.
  2. the place or post of control: A stern taskmaster was at the helm of the company.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to steer; direct.
Show More

Origin of helm

1
before 900; Middle English helme, Old English helma; cognate with Middle High German halme, helm handle, Old Norse hjalm rudder
Related formshelm·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for helmless

Historical Examples of helmless

  • From that moment, helmless though he was, the issue lay in doubt no longer.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • For more than twenty years I have been tossed about as a helmless vessel, without compass or reckoning.


British Dictionary definitions for helmless

helm

1
noun
  1. nautical
    1. the wheel, tiller, or entire apparatus by which a vessel is steered
    2. the position of the helm: that is, on the side of the keel opposite from that of the rudder
  2. a position of leadership or control (esp in the phrase at the helm)
Show More
verb
  1. (tr) to direct or steer
Show More
Derived Formshelmless, adjective

Word Origin for helm

Old English helma; related to Old Norse hjalm rudder, Old High German halmo

helm

2
noun
  1. an archaic or poetic word for helmet
Show More
verb
  1. (tr) archaic, or poetic to supply with a helmet
Show More

Word Origin for helm

Old English helm; related to helan to cover, Old Norse hjalmr, Gothic hilms, Old High German helm helmet, Sanskrit śárman protection
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 helmless

helm

n.2

"a helmet," c.1200, from Old English helm "protection, covering; crown, helmet," and perhaps also from cognate Old Norse hjalmr, from Proto-Germanic *helmaz "protective covering," from PIE *kel- "to cover, to hide" (see cell). Italian elmo, Spanish yelmo are from Germanic.

Show More

helm

n.1

"handle of a tiller," late 13c., from Old English helma "rudder; position of guidance, control," from Proto-Germanic *halbma- (cf. Old Norse hjalm, Old High German helmo, German Helm "handle"), from PIE *kelp- "to hold, grasp" (see helve).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with helmless

helm

see at the helm.

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.