helmet


helmet
helmeted, adj.helmetlike, adj.
/hel"mit/, n.
1. any of various forms of protective head covering worn by soldiers, firefighters, divers, cyclists, etc.
2. medieval armor for the head.
3. (in fencing, singlestick, etc.) a protective device for the head and face consisting of reinforced wire mesh.
4. anything resembling a helmet in form or position.
[1400-50; late ME < MF healmet, helmet, dim. of helme HELM2]

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armour
 defensive covering for the head, one of the most universal forms of armour. Helmets are usually thought of as military equipment, but they are also worn by firemen, miners, construction workers, riot and motorcycle police, gridiron-football and ice-hockey players, and bicyclists.

      Military helmets date from ancient times. Their basic function was to protect the head, face, and sometimes the neck from projectiles and the cutting blows of swords, spears, arrows, and other weapons. The Assyrians and Persians had helmets of leather and iron, and the Greeks brought helmetmaking to a pinnacle of craftsmanship with their bronze helmets, some of which covered the entire head, with only a narrow opening in front for vision and breathing. The Romans developed several forms of helmets, including the round legionary's helmet and the special gladiator's helmet, with broad brim and pierced visor, giving exceptional protection to head, face, and neck.

      In northern and western Europe, early helmets were of leather reinforced with bronze or iron straps and usually took the form of conical or hemispherical skullcaps. Gradually the amount of metal increased until entire helmets were fashioned of iron, still following the same form. About the year 1200 the helm, or heaume, emerged. It was a flat-topped cylinder that was put on over the skullcap just before an engagement; experience soon dictated rounded contours that would cause blows to glance off. At the same time, the skullcap developed into the basinet, with pieces added to protect the neck and with a movable visor for the face. By 1500 several highly sophisticated types of helmets were in use, employing hinges or pivots to permit the piece to be put on over the head and then fitted snugly around head and neck so that it could not be knocked off in combat.

      In the 16th and 17th centuries light, open helmets with broad brims became popular. In the 18th and 19th centuries, with the growing effectiveness of firearms and the consequent decline in use of the sword and spear, helmets largely disappeared except for the use of light helmets by cavalry. The steel helmet reappeared, however, as a standard item for infantry in the opening years of World War I because it protected the head against the high-velocity metal fragments of exploding artillery shells. The French first adopted the helmet as standard equipment in late 1914 and were quickly followed by the British, the Germans, and then the rest of Europe. The modern infantry helmet is a smoothly rounded hemisphere designed to present glancing surfaces off of which bullets or shell fragments will bounce without imparting their full impact. The typical helmet is a hardened-steel shell with an inner textile liner and weighs about 1 to 4 pounds (0.5 to 1.8 kg).

      Separate traditions of materials and workmanship used in making military helmets have developed in non-Western parts of the world. Conical iron and steel helmets—developed in medieval Persia, Turkey, and India—are valued as works of art because of their fine forging and delicate damascening. In Tibet and China, helmets of bronze, leather, and horn have been made for centuries, while Japanese helmets with detachable face guards, finely forged and lacquered, have been recognized as outstanding examples of the armourer's craft.

      Military helmets made a reappearance in World War I as protection in the trenches from shrapnel and snipers' rounds and remain a basic item of military equipment.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Helmet — 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. hj[=a]lmr, Sw. hjelm, Dan. hielm, Goth. hilms; and prob. from the root of AS. helan to hide, to hele; cf. also… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Helmet — Datos generales Origen …   Wikipedia Español

  • Helmet — The Hifi Bar, Melbourne May 2008 Основная информация …   Википедия

  • helmet — mid 15c., perhaps a dim. of O.E. helm protection, covering; crown, helmet (see HELM (Cf. helm) (2)). But Barnhart says from M.Fr. helmet (Mod.Fr. heaume), dim. of helme helmet, from the same Germanic source as helm (2). Middle English Dictionary… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Helmet — se formo en 1989 por Page Hamilton como vocalista y primera guitarra, Jhon Stanier en la batería, el Ausraliano Peter Mengede en la guitarra ritmica y Henry Bogdan en el bajo. La banda debuta con Strap It On en 1990 con el sello Amphetamine… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • helmet — [n] headgear armor, busby, crash helmet, hard hat, hat, head protector, kepi, safety helmet, shako; concept 451 …   New thesaurus

  • helmet — [hel′mət] n. [OFr, dim. of helme, helmet < Frank * helm: for IE base see HELM1] 1. a protective covering for the head; specif., a) the headpiece of ancient or medieval armor: see ARMOR b) the metal head covering worn in modern warfare c) the… …   English World dictionary

  • helmet — ► NOUN ▪ a hard or padded protective hat. DERIVATIVES helmeted adjective. ORIGIN Old French, little helmet …   English terms dictionary

  • Helmet — …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Helmet — For other uses, see Helmet (disambiguation). A woman wearing a cycling helmet A helmet is a form of protective gear worn on the head to protect it from injuries. Ceremonial or symbolic helmets (e.g., English policeman s helmet) without protective …   Wikipedia

  • Helmet — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Helmet », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) Helmet signifie « casque » en anglais …   Wikipédia en Français


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