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See more synonyms for helve on Thesaurus.com
  1. the handle of an ax, hatchet, hammer, or the like.
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verb (used with object), helved, helv·ing.
  1. to furnish with a helve.
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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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for helves

Historical Examples

  • Helves was the sole lion for the remainder of the day—impudence and the marvellous are pretty sure passports to any society.

    Sketches by Boz

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for helves


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

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 helves



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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper