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 America’s infernal commitment to policing the global order has manifested itself especially heavily in Latin America. Laura Weiss, The New Republic, "How America Exports Police Violence Around the World," 25 June 2020 The bustle of the mountain stream a stone’s throw from the tent created a symphony with a rhythm that had lulled me fast to sleep, but the infernal inner clock was having none of it. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "Now’s the time to catch a glimpse of stunning harlequin ducks," 31 May 2020 The absurdities of the Binewskis’ world—the infernal abuses of power, the horrors that women face for possessing a body, the possibilities and the failures of family—are uncomfortably familiar. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, "Discovering Katherine Dunn’s Unpublished Work," 4 May 2020 Reeves’s laconic style is a perfect fit for the cynical antihero, and Rachel Weisz thrives in twin roles as sisters on either side of an infernal crime Constantine is called to investigate. David Sims, The Atlantic, "30 Underrated Films You Should Revisit," 10 Apr. 2020 Baise-Moi is a torrent of a text, trapped in the velocity of an infernal present. Nadja Spiegelman, The New York Review of Books, "As Clean as Rage," 8 Apr. 2020 Scrat’s pursuit of an infernal acorn has world-changing consequences for Manny, Diego and Sid. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 The infernal messiness of this war of identities has been rendered with uncommon elegance and precision. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Reflections That Sear in a Reborn ‘Fires in the Mirror’," 11 Nov. 2019 Even a Currier & Ives image of the 1872 Boston fire seems to be a portrayal of infernal retribution. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Extreme Nature!’ Review: Horror and Beauty in the World Around Us," 13 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for infernal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for infernal

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Infernal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for infernal


How to pronounce infernal (audio)

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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Comments on infernal

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