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

People on the ground described a hellish night as Hurricane Dorian slammed into Grand Bahama Island on Sunday as a Category 5 storm with winds of 180 mph. Gianluca Mezzofiore And Doug Criss, CNN, "Witnesses describe scenes of devastation as Dorian batters the Bahamas," 2 Sep. 2019 Her wedding dress mirrors her character's inner journey, starting out pristine and gradually getting more ripped and stained with blood and gore as her hellish wedding night progresses. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Pitch-perfect Ready or Not is a sharp and witty blood-soaked delight," 21 Aug. 2019 Riding the Subway Because owning a car in the city is expensive, parking is impossible, and traffic is hellish, most people in NYC get around using the subway. Andrea Whittle, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit New York City," 20 Aug. 2019 When greater challenges emerge in the form of powerful, health-depleting bosses, your suit's jump and dash abilities are just solid enough to afford you the opportunity to survive some hellish firepower. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Metal Wolf Chaos XD: A weirdly timed return to 2004’s robo-blasting innocence," 6 Aug. 2019 The hellish train ride extended all along the New Haven Line in southern Fairfield County Saturday night, enraging and frustrating Connecticut travelers trying to get home from New York. Lydia Gerike, courant.com, "From Grand Central to Fairfield in seven hours: Inside the ‘train ride from hell’," 5 Aug. 2019 Bon Odori, or simply Bon dance, originates from the story of Mokuren, a close disciple of the Buddha whose mother is released from a hellish realm because of his charitable acts. San Diego Union-Tribune, "12 things to do this weekend: Impossible Science Festival, SummerFest, ‘Forging Territories’," 2 Aug. 2019 That means experts can effectively see their evolution through time, all the way back to their creation at hellish depths. Robin George Andrews, National Geographic, "Magma speed record set by Icelandic volcano," 23 July 2019 Scott, interviewed here, is still amazed that Armstrong could not only figure out what happened but could maneuver his body to get to the correct switch under those hellish conditions. Kenneth Turan, Twin Cities, "‘Armstrong’ documentary examines the man behind the moon landing," 16 July 2019

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

7 Sep 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).


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

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

Bee Cubed

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!