Ha·​des | \ ˈhā-(ˌ)dēz How to pronounce Hades (audio) \

Definition of Hades

1 : the Greek god of the underworld
2 : the underground abode of the dead in Greek mythology
3 : sheol
4 often not capitalized : hell sense 1a

Did You Know?

In Greek mythology, Hades is both the land of the dead and the god who rules there. Hades the god (who the Greeks also called Pluto) is the brother of Zeus and Poseidon, who rule the skies and the seas. The realm called Hades, where he rules with his wife Persephone, is the region under the earth, full of mineral wealth and fertility and home to dead souls. Hades today is sometimes used as a polite term for Hell ("It's hotter than Hades in here!").

First Known Use of Hades

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for Hades

Greek Aidēs, Āidēs, Haidēs

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Cite this Entry

“Hades.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Hades. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of Hades

: the home of the dead in Greek mythology
informal used as a more polite way of saying "hell"

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