Pronunciation: (hē'liks), [key]
pl. hel•i•cesPronunciation: (hel'u-sēz"), [key] he•lix•es.

1. a spiral.
2. Geom.the curve formed by a straight line drawn on a plane when that plane is wrapped around a cylindrical surface of any kind, esp. a right circular cylinder, as the curve of a screw. Equation: x = a sinθ, y = a cosθ, z = b θ.
3. Archit.
a. a spiral ornament.
b. (in a Corinthian capital) either of two scrolls issuing from a cauliculus. Cf. Corinthian (def. 2).
4. Anat.the curved fold forming most of the rim of the external ear. See diag. under ear.
5. Biochem.See alpha helix.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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