• IPA: /ˈhɛlən/
Proper noun
  1. (Greek mythology) the daughter of Zeus and Leda, considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world; her abduction by Paris brought about the Trojan War.
    • 1602 William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act I, Scene I
      Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair,
      When with your blood you daily paint her thus.
  2. A female given name.
    • 1928 Agatha Christie, The Mystery of the Blue Train
      "Is her name Ellen or Helen, Miss Viner? I thought - "
      Miss Viner closed her eyes.
      "I can sound my h's, dear, as well as anyone, but Helen is not a suitable name for a servant. I don't know what the mothers in the lower classes are coming to nowadays."
    • 1993 Oscar Hijuelos, The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien, ISBN 0-14-023028-9, page 6:
      - - - in 1910 she brought Helen into the world, the little female, or "mujercita", as her mother called all the babies, naming her after the glittery label on a facial ointment, The Helen of Troy Beauty Pomade, said to eradicate wrinkles, to soften and add a youthful glow to the user's skin - a fortuitous choice because, of all the sisters, she would be the most beautiful and, never growing old, would always possess the face of a winsome adolescent beauty.
    • 2003 Deborah Crombie, A Share in Death'', HarperCollins, ISBN 0060534389, page 189
      Gemma followed her, thinking that Helen seemed rather an old-fashioned and elegant name for this rumpled young mother.
Related terms Translations Translations Noun

Helen (plural Helens)

  1. Any of various papilionid butterflies of the genus Papilio.

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