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

Definition of hellish

: of, resembling, or befitting hell broadly : terrible

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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 That’s certainly more microbe-friendly than the hellish, lead-melting temperatures of about 900°C down at ground level. Sid Perkins, Science | AAAS, "‘Curious and unexplained.’ Gas spotted in Venus’s atmosphere is also spewed by microbes on Earth," 14 Sep. 2020 Swathed in sulfuric acid clouds and possessing oppressive surface pressures and temperatures hot enough to melt lead, Venus is a hellish world. Adam Mann, Scientific American, "Venus Might Host Life, New Discovery Suggests," 14 Sep. 2020 However, scientists have hypothesized that the planet’s yellow, hazy clouds might provide a more suitable habitat for life compared to its hellish surface. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "In Clouds on Venus, New Potential for Microbial Life," 14 Sep. 2020 It was developed for use by the U.S. Army after the hellish jungle warfare experiences of World War II. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "The Best Clothing, Chemicals, and Sprays to Prevent Tick and Chigger Bites," 13 July 2020 No climate policy is available that would operate on a time scale relevant to California’s hellish wildfire challenge, except throwing enough opaque particles into the atmosphere to cool the Earth. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "California Needs Ideas," 28 Aug. 2020 More dangerous were the 16 nights during that hellish summer when temperatures never dipped below 89 degrees. AZCentral.com, "In Phoenix, rising temperatures day and night kill more people each year," 27 Aug. 2020 In that hellish interval, Earth experienced the worst die-off of life in its history. Madeleine Stone, National Geographic, "Earth is setting heat records. It will be much hotter one day.," 20 Aug. 2020 If those props fail, our trajectory easily might lie into the sort of hellish vortex that engulfed revolutionary France. John D. Hagen, National Review, "The Gospel of Jean-Jacques," 20 Aug. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of hellish

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hellish

Time Traveler

The first known use of hellish was circa 1530

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Statistics for hellish

Last Updated

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hellish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hellish. Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for hellish


How to pronounce hellish (audio)

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

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