perdition

noun

per·​di·​tion pər-ˈdi-shən How to pronounce perdition (audio)
1
a
: eternal damnation
b
: hell
2
a
archaic : utter destruction
b
obsolete : loss

Did you know?

Perdition began life as a word meaning "utter destruction"; that sense is now archaic, but it provides a clue about the origins of the word. "Perdition" was borrowed into English in the 14th century from Anglo-French perdiciun and ultimately derives from the Latin verb perdere, meaning "to destroy." "Perdere" was formed by combining the prefix per- ("through") and "dare" ("to give"). Other descendants of that Latin dare in English include "date," "edition," "render," and "traitor."

Examples of perdition in a Sentence

sinners condemned to eternal perdition simple stupidity is not enough to doom one to perdition
Recent Examples on the Web But the barrier between life and death is no less permeable than those between childhood and adulthood, or dreams and reality, or a world of perdition and a hidden paradise. Maya Phillips, New York Times, 8 Dec. 2023 Images: Bloomberg News/AFP/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly The latest mile marker on New York City’s road to urban perdition is a PSA from the health commissioner. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 28 Sep. 2023 Of all the threats looming over the planet today, one of the most alarming is the seemingly inexorable descent of the world’s oceans into ecological perdition. Alan B. Sielen, Foreign Affairs, 15 Oct. 2013 But in the case of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, perhaps it should be amended to something about governing in perdition, or at the very least purgatory. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 16 June 2023 His road to perdition finally ended at SMU. Dallas News, 20 Feb. 2023 Who’s here to damn him to perdition. Pat Myers, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 And not the fire and brimstone Old Testament perdition. Damon Young, Washington Post, 6 June 2022 Jeff, Bobby’s lone sibling, had to force his way through the perdition of survivor’s guilt. Jennifer Senior, The Atlantic, 9 Aug. 2021

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English perdicion, from Anglo-French perdiciun, Late Latin perdition-, perditio, from Latin perdere to destroy, from per- through + dare to give — more at per-, date

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of perdition was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near perdition

Cite this Entry

“Perdition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perdition. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

perdition

noun
per·​di·​tion pər-ˈdish-ən How to pronounce perdition (audio)
1
: eternal damnation
2

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