- in headlong and disorderly haste: The children ran helter-skelter all over the house.
- in a haphazard manner; without regard for order: Clothes were scattered helter-skelter about the room.
- carelessly hurried; confused: They ran in a mad, helter-skelter fashion for the exits.
- disorderly; haphazard: Books and papers were scattered on the desk in a helter-skelter manner.
- tumultuous disorder; confusion.
Origin of helter-skelter
Examples from the Web for helter-skelter
Nobody but he could have twisted and turned in such a helter-skelter fashion.The Tale of Kiddie Katydid
Arthur Scott Bailey
Sometimes, but not very often, she threw them helter-skelter about the room.The Good Soldier
Ford Madox Ford
I only know we ran quickly, helter-skelter, back home, back to Mazapevka.Jewish Children
Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
But this cannot be done by helter-skelter or haphazard administration.The Indian Question (1874)
Francis A. Walker
She flung off her coat in a helter-skelter way, and rolled up her sleeves.A Spoil of Office
- haphazard or carelessly hurried
- in a helter-skelter manner
- British a high spiral slide, as at a fairground
- disorder or haste
Word Origin and History for helter-skelter
also helter skelter, 1590s, perhaps from skelte "to hasten, scatter hurriedly," with the first element there merely for the sake of rhyme. As an adjective from 1785.