Simple Definition of hell
: 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
1 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
2 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>
3 archaic : a tailor's receptacle
4 —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?>
: being the worst or most dreadful of its kind
: very hard on or destructive to <the constant traveling is hell on your digestive system>
: difficulties of whatever kind or size <will stand by her convictions come hell or high water>
: dire consequences <if he's late there'll be hell to pay>
Examples of hell
Getting the loan approved was pure hell.
He went through hell during his divorce.
She had to go through hell to get where she is today.
Living with the disease can be a hell on earth.
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
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