Ha·​des ˈhā-(ˌ)dēz How to pronounce Hades (audio)
: the Greek god of the underworld
: the underground abode of the dead in Greek mythology
: sheol
often not capitalized : hell sense 1a

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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!").

Examples of Hades in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In recent years, games like God of War and Hades have brought new familiarity to Norse and Greek mythology. Megan Farokhmanesh, WIRED, 2 Apr. 2024 How bet types work and bet horse racing on your phone Race 14 - Florida Derby #10 - Fierceness (8/5) #2 - Hades (7/2) #7 - Catalytic (20/1) Value Plays and Longshots: #9 Conquest Warrior (3/1), #3 Bail Us Out (15/1), #1 Frankie’s Empire (12/1). Jay Ginsbach, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 There, secret rituals were held in honor of the earth and fertility goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone, whose annual passage back and forth to Hades regulated the cycle of the seasons, with her absence creating the barren winters and her return the fertile warmth of spring. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Mar. 2024 Back in 2020, Forward Air was hacked by a group known as Hades. Levon Gasparian, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 Captain Minnie eventually finds the ship’s commemorative coin with Hades, and Hercules helps her to get it back. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 20 Mar. 2024 Olympian legends — including Hades and the thunder god Zeus — now rule the Island in otherworldly rage. Chad Murphy, The Enquirer, 8 Mar. 2024 Fortnite also hinted at the Chains of Hades being another power added on later in the season. Dina Kaur, The Arizona Republic, 8 Mar. 2024 Even playing games like Hades through the Steam Link app (with my PC connected via Wi-Fi) felt surprisingly natural. Quentyn Kennemer, The Verge, 4 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Hades.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Greek Aidēs, Āidēs, Haidēs

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of Hades was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near Hades

Cite this Entry

“Hades.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Hades. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition



Greek Haidēs, god of the underworld, abode of the dead in Greek mythology

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