[hel-uh t, hee-luh t]


a member of the lowest class in ancient Laconia, constituting a body of serfs who were bound to the land and were owned by the state.Compare Perioeci, Spartiate.
(lowercase) a serf or slave; bondman.

Origin of Helot

1570–80; < Latin hēlōtēs (plural) < Greek heílōtes
Related formshel·ot·age, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for helot

Contemporary Examples of helot

  • His cheeks bright red, his chin wet with spittle, the helot would weave and stagger and totter until he passed out in the dirt.

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    Persian Fire and Rubicon (Full)

    David Frum

    September 23, 2012

Historical Examples of helot

British Dictionary definitions for helot



(in ancient Greece, esp Sparta) a member of the class of unfree men above slaves owned by the state
(usually not capital) a serf or slave

Word Origin for Helot

C16: from Latin Hēlotēs, from Greek Heilōtes, alleged to have meant originally: inhabitants of Helos, who, after its conquest, were serfs of the Spartans
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 helot

1570s (with a capital -h-) "Spartan serf," from Greek Heilotes, plural of Heilos, popularly associated with Helos, Laconian town reduced to serfdom by Sparta, but perhaps related to Greek halonai "be captured." In extended use by 1820s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper