hell·​ish | \ ˈhe-lish How to pronounce hellish (audio) \

Definition of hellish

: of, resembling, or befitting hell broadly : terrible

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hellish

hellishly adverb
hellishness noun

Examples of hellish in a Sentence

We've been having hellish weather lately. The battlefield was a hellish scene of death and destruction.

Recent Examples on the Web

From a hellish one-time videographer gig to a questionable stint as a ticket scalper, three women share their side hustle horror stories. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "From Nightmare Temp Jobs to Ticket Scalper Horror Stories—The Side Hustles We Don't Recommend," 9 Apr. 2019 On the final morning of a hellish, 10-day trip, pitcher Clayton Kershaw left the Dodgers on Sunday to travel to Los Angeles after complaining of discomfort in his prized left arm. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Dodgers dealt another blow as Clayton Kershaw lands on disabled list," 7 May 2018 Motion sickness Going places should be fun, not hellish. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Vomiting Causes to Consider Next Time You’re Really Sick," 18 Jan. 2019 That can be lovely, but give it a day and that winter wonderland quickly transforms into a hellish landscape of dingy gray slush puddles and cramped sidewalks, packed with unhappy commuters. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Consider: A Heeled Snow Boot to Stay High and Dry All Winter," 14 Jan. 2019 The video crawls through early meetings and into the day’s events, which largely focus on what happened inside TanaCon, rather than outside, where fans were trapped in hellish lines for hours. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "TanaCon ‘documentary’ offers a clumsy behind-the-scenes look at what went wrong," 6 Nov. 2018 Stan Wawrinka gets a hellish tangle with Grigor Dimitrov in the first round. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Fun Anarchy at the 2018 U.S. Open," 26 Aug. 2018 Ordinarily, my favorite unlined bra for the warmer months would be hard to choose, but after a particularly hellish summer here in Manhattan, my Gossard Glossies has emerged as the clear frontrunner. Cora Harrington, Allure, "Ask a Lingerie Expert: What Is the Best Bra for Staying Cool on Hot, Sweaty Days?," 4 Sep. 2018 Migraines can be absolutely hellish, as anyone who has ever had one knows. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "8 Myths People With Migraines Wish You’d Stop Believing," 23 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of hellish

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hellish

Dictionary Entries near hellish








Statistics for hellish

Last Updated

4 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hellish

The first known use of hellish was circa 1530

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hellish



English Language Learners Definition of hellish

: very bad, unpleasant, or shocking


hell·​ish | \ ˈhe-lish How to pronounce hellish (audio) \

Kids Definition of hellish

: extremely bad hellish violence

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hellish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hellish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hellish

Spanish Central: Translation of hellish

Nglish: Translation of hellish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hellish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hellish

What made you want to look up hellish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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