helix

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
  1. noun
    a curve that lies on the surface of a cylinder or cone and cuts the element at a constant angle
    synonyms: spiral
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    types:
    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
  2. noun
    a structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops
    synonyms: coil, spiral, volute, whorl
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    types:
    hank
    a coil of rope or wool or yarn
    skein
    coils of worsted yarn
    type of:
    construction, structure
    a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts
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