A helix is a twisted, spiral shape, like a corkscrew. In math, a helix is defined as "a curve in three-dimensional space." If you have ever seen a spiral staircase, you can envision the shape of a helix.

To picture the shape of a helix, imagine the coil of a spring inside a sofa, or the shape the threads of a screw make, curling in a spiral. When you hear the word helix, you may think of a double helix, which resembles two interconnected spirals and describes the shape of human DNA. In both Latin and Greek, helix means "spiral" or "spiral-shaped thing."

Definitions of helix

n a curve that lies on the surface of a cylinder or cone and cuts the element at a constant angle

double helix
a pair of parallel helices intertwined about a common axis
Type of:
curve, curved shape
the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes

n a structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops

coil, spiral, volute, whorl
a coil of rope or wool or yarn
coils of worsted yarn
Type of:
construction, structure
a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts

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