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helmet

Syllabification: hel·met
Pronunciation: /ˈhelmət
 
/

Definition of helmet in English:

noun

1A hard or padded protective hat, various types of which are worn by soldiers, police officers, firefighters, motorcyclists, athletes, and others.
Example sentences
  • Some hard hats and helmets have a face shield attached to them.
  • Combat-equipped soldiers and police wearing helmets and flak jackets are going door to door in the city to enforce a mandatory evacuation at the point of a gun.
  • Baseball helmets routinely protect players who are hit in the head at speeds that are roughly similar to a slap shot.
2 Botany The arched upper part (galea) of the corolla in some flowers, especially those of the mint and orchid families.
3 (also helmet shell) A predatory mollusk with a squat heavy shell, living in tropical and temperate seas and preying chiefly on sea urchins.
  • Family Cassidae, class Gastropoda
Example sentences
  • Shell cameos had been popular in the sixteenth century, but it was in the nineteenth century that the art flourished, with the helmet shell and the queen conch shell judged the most suitable for cameo carving.
  • One diagram of helmets shows a simple, radially symmetrical ancestral helmet at the bottom.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French, diminutive of helme, of Germanic origin; related to helm2.

More
  • hell from (Old English):

    Hell descends from an ancient Indo-European root with the sense ‘to cover, hide’ which also gave rise to Latin celare (root of conceal (Middle English) and occult) and to English hole ( see hold), helmet (Late Middle English), and heel ‘to set a plant in the ground and cover its roots’. This was originally unconnected with the Old English word for the part of the foot, but rather came from helian ‘cover’.

    The infernal regions are regarded as a place of torment or punishment, and many curses and exclamations, such as a hell of a— or one hell of a—, depend on this. These expressions used to be shocking, and until the early 20th century were usually printed as h—l or h—. Alterations such as heck (late 19th century) served the same softening purpose in speech as well as in writing. The saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned is a near quotation from a 1697 play by William Congreve: ‘Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned.’ The dramatist Colley Cibber had used very similar words just a year earlier, and the idea was commonplace in the Renaissance. It can be traced back to the Greek dramatist Euripides of the 5th century bc. Strictly the ‘fury’ is one of the Furies of Greek mythology, frightening goddesses who avenged wrong and punished crime, but most people now use and interpret it in the sense ‘wild or violent anger’. The proverb the road to hell is paved with good intentions dates from the late 16th century, but earlier forms existed which omitted the first three words. Grumpy and misanthropic people everywhere will agree with the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who wrote in 1944: ‘Hell is other people.’

Derivatives

helmeted

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • In the midst of this incredible natural creation, I am suddenly immersed in a blue fog of polluting fumes, surrounded by loud snarling beasts whose riders, black-suited and helmeted, all look like Darth Vader.
  • To the surprise of the women, eying him warily, this hunk, looking more macho than all the others, slowed down almost to a stop, and with a little not of his full helmeted head, made a graceful sweep of his right hand.
  • It also includes a photograph of two black men, one shirtless, calmly leaning against their automobile as helmeted patrol officers briskly frisk them for weapons.

Words that rhyme with helmet

pelmet

Definition of helmet in:

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