Hel"met (?), n. [OF. helmet, a dim of helme, F. heaume; of Teutonic origin; cf. G. helm, akin to AS. & OS. helm, D. helm, helmet, Icel. hjalmr, Sw. hjelm, Dan. hielm, Goth. hilms; and prob. from the root of AS. helan to hide, to hele; cf. also Lith. szalmas, Russ. shleme, Skr. ssarman protection. &root;17. Cf. Hele, Hell, Helm a helmet.]

1. Armor

A defensive covering for the head. See Casque, Headpiece, Morion, Sallet, and Illust. of Beaver.

2. Her.

The representation of a helmet over shields or coats of arms, denoting gradations of rank by modifications of form.


A helmet-shaped hat, made of cork, felt, metal, or other suitable material, worn as part of the uniform of soldiers, firemen, etc., also worn in hot countries as a protection from the heat of the sun.


That which resembles a helmet in form, position, etc.

; as: (a) Chem.

The upper part of a retort

. Boyle. (b) Bot.

The hood-formed upper sepal or petal of some flowers, as of the monkshood or the snapdragon

. (c) Zool.

A naked shield or protuberance on the top or fore part of the head of a bird


Helmet beetle Zool., a leaf-eating beetle of the family Chrysomelidae, having a short, broad, and flattened body. Many species are known. -- Helmet shell Zool., one of many species of tropical marine univalve shells belonging to Cassis and allied genera. Many of them are large and handsome; several are used for cutting as cameos, and hence are called cameo shells. See King conch. -- Helmet shrike Zool., an African wood shrike of the genus Prionodon, having a large crest.


© Webster 1913.