in·​fer·​nal | \ in-ˈfər-nᵊl How to pronounce infernal (audio) \

Definition of infernal

1 : of or relating to a nether world of the dead
2a : of or relating to hell
3 : damnable an infernal nuisance

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Other Words from infernal

infernally \ in-​ˈfər-​nᵊl-​ē How to pronounce infernally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of infernal in a Sentence

the infernal regions of the dead Stop making that infernal racket!

Recent Examples on the Web

The vast majority of racers to enter cycling’s most infernal race have never made it to the finish line. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Paris-Roubaix: How ‘Hell’ Became More Chill," 12 Apr. 2019 The opera’s centerpiece is an infernal chorus adapted from Mr. Ruzicka’s 2001 opera about Paul Celan, the Eastern European Jew and Holocaust survivor who is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest German-language poets. New York Times, "Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin Don’t Talk. They Sing.," 24 June 2018 While many Chicagoans might think pigeon racing is rushing to their bedroom windows at 4:30 a.m. to chase away the birds and their infernal cooing, aldermen have introduced a proposal to bring back the sport of racing homing pigeons. John Byrne,, "Alderman's proposal would once again allow pigeon racing in Chicago," 28 June 2018 Our artillery still fired incessantly, filling the air with an infernal din. Mary Horlock, Longreads, "The Camouflage Artist: Two Worlds Wars, Two Loves, and One Great Deception," 21 June 2018 And the expression on the poor lad’s face, at the climax of the tale, is one of genuine bewilderment, quivering with disbelief that his ordinary young life should have descended into the infernal. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Hereditary” Delivers a New Kind of Horror," 7 June 2018 At Juilliard, this divertissement will have a hellish look, with images inspired by Egon Schiele; an arresting moment comes when a chorus of infernal divinities suddenly joins in the dance. George Loomis, New York Times, "An Opera Worth Fighting Over," 13 Apr. 2018 Though far from obsessed with the case, Bevins is nonetheless haunted by its grievous memories, its infernal mystery. Bob Sylva, sacbee, "1988: The desperate search for the East Area Rapist costs millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours | The Sacramento Bee," 25 Apr. 2018 The infernal re-spinning, too, as the Dolphins’ machine that once praised Ndamukong Suh for his talent on the way in the door now questions his make-up on the way out. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: Easy to move on from Suh and Landry — harder to replace their talent | Commentary," 12 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infernal.' 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 infernal

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for infernal

Middle English, from Anglo-French enfernal, from Late Latin infernalis, from infernus hell, from Latin, lower, from inferus

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Statistics for infernal

Last Updated

29 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for infernal

The first known use of infernal was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of infernal

literary : of or relating to hell
informal + old-fashioned : very bad or unpleasant


in·​fer·​nal | \ in-ˈfər-nᵊl How to pronounce infernal (audio) \

Kids Definition of infernal

1 : very bad or unpleasant Stop that infernal noise!
2 : of or relating to hell

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More from Merriam-Webster on infernal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with infernal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for infernal

Spanish Central: Translation of infernal

Nglish: Translation of infernal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of infernal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on infernal

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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