[ hel-oh, hee-loh ]
/ ˈhɛl oʊ, ˈhi loʊ /
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noun, plural hel·os.Informal.
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Origin of helo

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does helo mean?

Helo is a slang term for helicopter.

Although the hel part of helicopter is pronounced with a short e (like hell), helo is sometimes pronounced with a long e and a long o: HEE-low.

Helo is most often used as military slang. In general, the slang term chopper is more commonly used to refer to a helicopter.

Example: Our helo crashed a few clicks back, so we’ve been on foot.

Where does helo come from?

Helo is a fairly modern slang term for helicopter. It was popularized during the Vietnam War, which is sometimes called “The Helicopter War” since it was the first war that saw widespread use of the helicopter.

Another slang term for helicopter is copter. Helo instead shortens the first part and replaces the i with the ending -o, which is commonly used in slang variants of words. This all might lead you to believe that the word helicopter is a combination of the word parts heli (like you see in helipad—a helicopter landing pad) and copter. But helicopter ultimately derives from a combination of helico, meaning “spiral,” and pter, meaning “one with wings.” This ending comes from the Greek pteron, meaning “wing.” This root also forms the basis of part of the word pterodactyl, the famous flying dinosaur (or dino—there’s that –o ending again).

Helo is military slang. It’s especially used in the U.S. military, but members of different branches may use different slang terms for helicopters. Another common military slang term for a helicopter is simply bird.

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What are some synonyms for helo?

What are some words that often get used in discussing helo?

How is helo used in real life?

Helo is most commonly used by current or former members of the U.S. military.



Try using helo!

Is helo used correctly in the following sentence? 

H.M. is the best helo pilot I’ve ever seen—if it’s got rotors, he can fly it.

How to use helo in a sentence