per·​di·​tion | \pər-ˈdi-shən \

Definition of perdition 

1a archaic : utter destruction

b obsolete : loss

2a : eternal damnation

b : hell

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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

Like these earlier explorers of perdition, Peterson found wisdom through his harrowing trek. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Jordan Peterson’s Tired Old Myths," 21 May 2018 Its crowdedness seems to amplify the collective anxiety of the artists witnessing, resisting and, at times, celebrating their road to perdition. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Walk Through This Exhibition With Dread. You Know Where It Leads.," 5 Apr. 2018 Neither electric cars nor a bullet train will save people from a pyrrhic perdition. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "California’s Political Fires," 22 Dec. 2017 Two years later, the 30-year-old rapper faces that same perdition -- on Nov. 6, he was sentenced to 2-4 years in a Pennsylvania state prison for violating his probation. Ben Detrick, Billboard, "In Meek Mill's Words: What The Rapper's Fight Says About the Justice System," 17 Nov. 2017 They can never be reconciled because of the chasm that separates those who deserve salvation and those who deserve perdition — namely, the deplorables. Joshua Mitchell, National Review, "The Identity-Politics Death Grip," 26 Oct. 2017 Only one run, however, was earned during the fourth inning, or, better known as the road to perdition. John Henry, star-telegram, "Rangers elimination number falls to 1 after blowout loss to Astros," 25 Sep. 2017 As the symbolism abounds on this dusty road to perdition, the excesses of the piece invite the actors to indulgent performances. Theodore P. Mahne,, "Tennessee Williams' 'Camino Real' a wild dream that will jolt audiences," 31 July 2017 Moss’s factual, point-by-point analysis of New York’s perdition is based in context: Like the city, each event, person, and place exists in relation to what stands before, after, and beside it. Amy Rose Spiegel, New Republic, "Who Killed New York City?," 27 July 2017

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 1a

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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Time Traveler for perdition

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

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English Language Learners Definition of perdition

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

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