hell·​scape ˈhel-ˌskāp How to pronounce hellscape (audio)
plural hellscapes
: a hellish landscape : a harshly unpleasant place or environment
I blame growing up in Southern California—this did not prepare me for real winter, much less the frigid hellscape that is New York in January.Aliza Arbabanel
Meanwhile, it's heartbreaking to see Route 33, once called out by Jalopnik as "America's greatest driving road," reduced to this horrifying hellscape. And, of course, to think about all the nearby people and animals and communities being inundated with fire and smoke.Andrew P. Collins

Examples of hellscape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Image The symbolism of this hellscape differs according to the beholder, amid a deep divergence about how the conflict should be reported and explained. Patrick Kingsley Avishag Shaar-Yashuv, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2024 Per Monday’s announcement, Peck is going deep into the politics of Haiti, its relationship with the United States, and the corrupt business empires and criminal organizations which have now rendered the country a hellscape for its citizens. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Mar. 2024 Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter has become a sub-functional hellscape of filth that has evolved into a megaphone for its owner to pump conspiracy theories and hate speech out onto the internet. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2024 From plasma-spewing hellscapes to a frigid land with air so thick a human could don a winged suit and take flight, these extraterrestrial moons are fascinating worlds in their own right, and may even be unexpected candidates for harboring life. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 7 Mar. 2024 In the musical, a new ending imagines Dawn and Brad as mythological figures — gods, really — storming across a fantastic, scarlet-colored hellscape where pillars of honest-to-God fire illuminate their literal battle of the sexes. Erik Piepenburg, New York Times, 4 Mar. 2024 But Brian can't resist warning his past self about the impending 9/11 attacks, and this results in a ripple effect that eventually transforms our characters' world into a post-nuclear hellscape. Chris Snellgrove, EW.com, 30 Sep. 2023 Unlike what happened in reality, Y2K turns the world into a post-apocalyptic nuclear hellscape, one which gets temporarily better — and then infinitely worse — after Peter becomes the mayor of New Quahog. Chris Snellgrove, EW.com, 30 Sep. 2023 But that’s actually what’s floating around out there on the social network hellscapes, nudged along by a few adults who really should know better (Vivek Ramaswamy). James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hellscape.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hellscape was in 1894

Dictionary Entries Near hellscape

Cite this Entry

“Hellscape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hellscape. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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