n. pl. he·lix·es or hel·i·ces (hĕlĭ-sēz′, hēlĭ-)
1. Mathematics A three-dimensional curve that lies on a cylinder or cone, so that its angle to a plane perpendicular to the axis is constant.
2. A spiral form or structure.
3. Anatomy The folded rim of skin and cartilage around most of the outer ear.
4. Architecture A volute on a Corinthian or Ionic capital.
v. he·lixed, he·lix·ing, he·lix·es
To move or position (something) into the shape of a helix.
1. To have the shape of a helix.
2. To move along a helical course; spiral.
[Latin, from Greek; see wel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)helix
in a right circular cylinder
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.