hellish

adjective

hell·​ish ˈhe-lish How to pronounce hellish (audio)
: of, resembling, or befitting hell
broadly : terrible
hellishly adverb
hellishness noun

Example Sentences

We've been having hellish weather lately. The battlefield was a hellish scene of death and destruction.
Recent Examples on the Web The countryside has been devastated by hellish drought and biblical floods. Pamela Constable, Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2022 Other actions have aimed to create maximum public disruption in the name of alerting people to the danger of climate change, as was seen with hellish traffic jams caused by months-long campaigns to block roadways in Germany and the U.K. Time, 17 Nov. 2022 Hours-long wait times, platinum ticket pricing, and site glitches resulting from completely unprepared and overloaded website servers made for a hellish ticket-purchasing experience for fans. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 17 Nov. 2022 Some of my favorite work over the past decade has involved testing, road tripping, and racing in Dodge's hellish offerings. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 13 Nov. 2022 Poor Rosemary is tricked by those closest to her through what is quite literally a hellish pregnancy, culminating in an unforgettable ending and an enduring performance from a wide-eyed Farrow. Steven Thrash, EW.com, 1 Nov. 2022 By age 8, he was packed off to a hellish boarding school, followed by a less harrowing college-preparatory stint at Rugby. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 Hole pupfish has paddled back from the brink in a hellish desert domain. Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 Welcome trick-or-treaters to a hellish circus with this frightening clown decoration. Kevin Cortez, Popular Mechanics, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hellish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hellish was circa 1530

Dictionary Entries Near hellish

Cite this Entry

“Hellish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hellish. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

hellish

adjective

hell·​ish ˈhel-ish How to pronounce hellish (audio)
: of, resembling, or suitable to hell : infernal
hellishly adverb
hellishness noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ