Denotation vs. Connotation


[hel-uh n] /ˈhɛl ən/
Also called Helen of Troy. Classical Mythology. the beautiful daughter of Zeus and Leda and wife of Menelaus whose abduction by Paris was the cause of the Trojan War.
a female given name.
Origin of Helen
< French Hélène < Latin Helena < Greek Helénē, of obscure origin, probably the name of a pre-Greek vegetation goddess; often linked by folk etymology with helénē, helánē torch, St. Elmo's fire, an unrelated word Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Helen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “The wind was awful,” said Helen, between bites at a sandwich.

    Janet Hardy in Hollywood Ruthe S. Wheeler
  • The story was there recorded in black and white on the page written by Helen Morris.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • I cannot get your father out of his study, Helen, she urged plaintively.

    A Singular Life Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
  • "Yes; that is—very much," I stammered, wandering back to Helen's desk.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • "I've heard his side of the story," said Helen, constrainedly.

British Dictionary definitions for Helen


(Greek myth) the beautiful daughter of Zeus and Leda, whose abduction by Paris from her husband Menelaus caused the Trojan War
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Helen

fem. proper name, from French Hélène, from Latin Helena, from Greek Helene, fem. proper name, probably fem. of helenos "the bright one." Among the top 10 popular names for girl babies in the U.S. born between 1890 and 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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