from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A system under which a nominally free social class or a religious, national, or racial minority is permanently oppressed and degraded.
- n. A type of symbiosis, as among certain ants, in which one species is dominant and makes the members of another species perform the tasks required for their mutual survival.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The permanent oppression of a nominally free group of people
- n. A form of symbiosis in which one species is forced to perform tasks for another, for their mutual benefit
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The condition of the Helots or slaves in Sparta; slavery.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The maintenance, by animals of one species, of individuals of another species in return for their labor as servants.
- n. In botany, a peculiar form of symbiosis in which one organism bears to another the relation of slave to master; noting especially the relation of the algal to the fungal component of a lichen: opposed to mutualistic symbiosis..
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Whatever the origins of helotism and its relation to slavery, it is reasonably certain that when the Spartans conquered Messenia in the southwest of the Peloponnese (probably in the eighth or seventh century), the native population became helots.
None of this is unique, and ancient and modern authors have found it very difficult to define helotism, because it was not considered to be an ordinary type of unfree labor.
Probably, helotism is a very ancient category; it may even be a survival from Mycenean times.
No sign of the times more plainly discovered the helotism to which the Restoration had condemned the young manhood of the epoch.
Instead, for the sake of avarice, power and even religious helotism, the members of the U.N. allow villains who desire war to obtain nuclear technology and ignore their own resolutions to disarm terrorists.
There is not the slightest likelihood of rebellion on the part of the negroes after 1840, unless some unrighteous attempts be made to keep up the helotism of the class by enactments of partial laws.
This form of helotism flourished but three years on American soil.
No sign of the times more plainly discovered the helotism to which the