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 By comparison with the immortal gods, even the loftiest mortals are losers in the long run (as Achilles realizes in Hades). Robert Pogue Harrison, The New York Review of Books, 15 Feb. 2024 Saar will discuss her past and current work, including her seminal 2016 piece, Hades D.W.P. II, which is in the Crocker’s collection. Sarah Murphy, Sacramento Bee, 1 Feb. 2024 Amid the celebration waiting for him, Percy realizes that Luke (Charlie Bushnell), the son of Hermes (Lin-Manual Miranda) who was Percy’s first new friend at camp, was the thief of Hades’ helm and Zeus’ bolt. Selome Hailu, Variety, 31 Jan. 2024 While Phillip Boykin and Lilias White will continue their stints as Hades and Hermes, Tung will also be joined by another newcomer to the cast, Ani DiFranco, who will take over for Betty Who as Persephone. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 9 Jan. 2024 Other stars in the current cast are Jordan Fisher as Orpheus, Phillip Boykin as Hades, and Solea Pfeiffer as Eurydice. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 23 Jan. 2024 Meanwhile, Persephone makes her usual springtime visit, drawing the attention of her lover, Hades, to the scenario in the nightclub. Rod Stafford Hagwood, Sun Sentinel, 10 Jan. 2024 The housekeeper alleges Brown ordered his security to grab Hades and other dogs on the property and remove them from the premises before police arrived. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 14 Dec. 2023 Alongside this story, set in the twin backdrops of a struggling town and a downtrodden underworld, another love story parallels the leads: the mythic, otherworldly, and downright epic romance of the Greek gods Hades and Persephone. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 28 Nov. 2023 See More

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 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition



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

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