noun \ˈhel\

: the place where the devil lives and where evil people go after they die according to some religions

: a very difficult or unpleasant situation or experience

—used to express anger, annoyance, etc.

Full Definition of HELL

a (1) :  a nether world in which the dead continue to exist :  hades (2) :  the nether realm of the devil and the demons in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment —often used in curses <go to hell> or as a generalized term of abuse <the hell with it>
b Christian Science :  error 2b, sin
a :  a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness <war is hell — W. T. Sherman>
b :  a place or state of turmoil or destruction <all hell broke loose>
c :  a severe scolding; also :  flak, grief <gave me hell for coming in late>
d :  unrestrained fun or sportiveness <the kids were full of hell> —often used in the phrase for the hell of it especially to suggest action on impulse or without a serious motive <decided to go for the hell of it>
e :  an extremely unpleasant and often inescapable situation <rush-hour hell>
archaic :  a tailor's receptacle
—used as an interjection <hell, I don't know!> or as an intensive <hurts like hell> <funny as hell> ; often used in the phrase hell of a <it was one hell of a good fight> or hell out of <scared the hell out of him> or with the or in <moved way the hell up north> <what in hell is wrong, now?>
from hell
:  being the worst or most dreadful of its kind
hell on
:  very hard on or destructive to <the constant traveling is hell on your digestive system>
hell or high water
:  difficulties of whatever kind or size <will stand by her convictions come hell or high water>
hell to pay
:  dire consequences <if he's late there'll be hell to pay>
what the hell
—used interjectionally to express a lack of concern about consequences or risks <it might cost him half his estate … but what the hell — N. W. Aldrich b1935>

Examples of HELL

  1. Getting the loan approved was pure hell.
  2. He went through hell during his divorce.
  3. She had to go through hell to get where she is today.
  4. Living with the disease can be a hell on earth.
  5. The pain has made her life a living hell.

Origin of HELL

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English helan to conceal, Old High German helan, Latin celare, Greek kalyptein
First Known Use: before 12th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Abode of evildoers after death, or the state of existence of souls damned to punishment after death. Most ancient religions included the concept of a place that divided the good from the evil or the living from the dead (e.g., the gloomy subterranean realm of Hades in Greek religion, or the cold and dark underworld of Nilfheim or Hel in Norse mythology). The view that hell is the final dwelling place of the damned after a last judgment is held by Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Jewish concept of Gehenna as an infernal region of punishment for the wicked was the basis for the Christian vision of hell as the fiery domain of Satan and his evil angels and a place of punishment for those who die without repenting of their sins. In Hinduism hell is only one stage in the career of the soul as it passes through the phases of reincarnation. The schools of Buddhism have varying conceptions of hell, usually entailing some kind of punishment or purgatory. In Jainism, hell is a purgatory in which sinners are tormented by demons until the evil of their lives has been exhausted.


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