per·​di·​tion | \ pər-ˈdi-shən How to pronounce perdition (audio) \

Definition of perdition

1a : eternal damnation
b : hell
2a archaic : utter destruction
b obsolete : loss

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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 simply waiting for their arrival puts us on the road to perdition. Marin Gjaja, Fortune, 8 Dec. 2020 Robinson’s fiction investigates, again and again, the connection between loneliness and perdition, between the soul’s isolation and its torment. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, 11 Sep. 2020 Hence, the nation to them is not all holy, a thing inviolate and inviolable, a thing that a man dare not sell or dishonour on pain of eternal perdition. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 7 Sep. 2020 Lucifer has been saved from perdition yet again — because Netflix has renewed the devilish WBTV drama for a miraculous sixth and final season, the streaming service announced Tuesday morning. Chancellor Agard,, 23 June 2020 Morels even more blatantly favor drama, thriving on tree death, soil disturbance, fire and perdition. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 31 Jan. 2020 Leading the way to political perdition is the American Republican Party. Garry Kasparov, The New York Review of Books, 28 Jan. 2020 This rush-to-perdition premise is only interesting as the latest raunchy comedy from actor Seth Rogen and his producing partner Evan Goldberg (Knocked Up, Superbad, Sausage Party, Blocked). Armond White, National Review, 16 Aug. 2019 The report outlined three major steps in Backpage’s road to perdition. Christine Biederman, WIRED, 18 June 2019

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

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

History and Etymology for perdition

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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Perdition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of perdition

old-fashioned : the state of being in hell forever as punishment after death

More from Merriam-Webster on perdition

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perdition

Britannica English: Translation of perdition for Arabic Speakers


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