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[hel-i-kop-ter, hee-li-] /ˈhɛl ɪˌkɒp tər, ˈhi lɪ-/

any of a class of heavier-than-air craft that are lifted and sustained in the air horizontally by rotating wings or blades turning on vertical axes through power supplied by an engine.
verb (used without object)
to fly in a helicopter.
verb (used with object)
to convey in a helicopter.
an aircraft capable of hover, vertical flight, and horizontal flight in any direction. Most get all of their lift and propulsion from the rotation of overhead blades See also autogiro
to transport (people or things) or (of people or things) to be transported by helicopter

1861, from French hélicoptère “device for enabling airplanes to rise perpendicularly,” thus “flying machine propelled by screws.” The idea was to gain lift from spiral aerofoils, and it didn’t work. Used by Jules Verne and the Wright Brothers, the word transferred to helicopters in the modern sense when those were developed in the 1920s. From Greek helix (genitive helikos) “spiral” (see helix) + pteron “wing” (see pterodactyl). Nativized in Flemish as wentelwiek “with rotary vanes.”


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  • Helicopter-parenting

    noun, Informal. 1. a style of child rearing in which an overprotective mother or father discourages a child’s independence by being too involved in the child’s life: In typical helicopter parenting, a mother or father swoops in at any sign of challenge or discomfort.

  • Helicopter view

    noun 1. an overview of a situation without any details

  • Helicospore

    [hel-i-kuh-spawr, -spohr] /ˈhɛl ɪ kəˌspɔr, -ˌspoʊr/ noun, Mycology. 1. a coiled cylindrical fungal spore.

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