noun (plural helices /-ləˌsēz/)
- 1An object having a three-dimensional shape like that of a wire wound uniformly in a single layer around a cylinder or cone, as in a corkscrew or spiral staircase.More example sentences
- They found that DNA consists of two connected twisted strands in the shape of a helix.
- The excess is carefully cut away to fabricate the helix shape.
- A television monitor showed what was inside: a glowing ball of gas surrounded by a metal helix.
- 1.1 Geometry A curve on a conical or cylindrical surface that would become a straight line if the surface were unrolled into a plane.More example sentences
- A template in the shape of a narrow right-angle triangle is wrapped around the cylinder to be threaded, and the hypotenuse of the triangle forms the line of the helix.
- The conical helix of their upward spiral against the flat blue sky is completely hypnotic.
- 1.2 Biochemistry An extended spiral chain of atoms in a protein, nucleic acid, or other polymeric molecule.More example sentences
- The gray bands indicate the helix regions of the protein.
- DNA molecules in nature are built from two complementary strands that bind to form the double helix.
- The double helix of DNA is held together by hydrogen bonds.
- 1.3 Architecture A spiral ornament.More example sentences
- Ross Lovegrove's stairway, with its helix profile, is part of a new tendency by designers to borrow forms from nature.
- 1.4 Anatomy The rim of the external ear.More example sentences
- The ear print on the safe had a circular mark at the top of the ear helix.
- Decrease oxygen saturation in blood in the helix of the ear by using an ear oximeter.
mid 16th century (in the architectural sense 'spiral ornament'): via Latin from Greek.