See more synonyms for helve on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), helved, helv·ing.
  1. to furnish with a helve.

Origin of helve

before 900; Middle English; Old English h(i)elfe
Related formshelv·er, nounun·helved, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for helve

Historical Examples of helve

  • Why, my dear abbe, how you throw the helve after the hatchet!

    The Conspirators

    Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

  • The pick sunk to its helve in the earth, now softened by the spring rain.

    Ruth Fielding At College

    Alice B. Emerson

  • I fling but the helve after the hatchet that has sunk into the silent stream.

    My Novel, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • The feel of the blow was good as the keen blade sank to the helve.

  • So I used the helve of an entrenching-tool and the stalks of the willow undergrowth.

    At Suvla Bay

    John Hargrave

British Dictionary definitions for helve


  1. the handle of a hand tool such as an axe or pick
  1. (tr) to fit a helve to (a tool)

Word Origin for helve

Old English hielfe; related to Old Saxon hèlvi, Old High German halb, Lithuanian kìlpa stirrup; see halter
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 helve

Old English helfe, hielfe "handle of an axe" or other tool or weapon, from Proto-Germanic *halb- (cf. Old Saxon helvi, Middle Dutch helf, Old High German halb "handle of an axe," Old High German helmo "tiller"); related to halter and helm (1), from PIE *kelp- "to hold, grasp." In Middle English, to holden the axe bi the helve (c.1200) meant "to take something by the right end."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper