[ uh-vur-nuhs ]

  1. a lake near Naples, Italy, looked upon in ancient times as an entrance to hell, from whose waters vile-smelling vapors arose, supposedly killing birds flying over it.

Origin of Avernus

<Latin <Greek áornos birdless, equivalent to a-a-6 + órn(is) bird + -os adj. suffix

Other words from Avernus

  • A·ver·nal, adjective

Words Nearby Avernus

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Avernus in a sentence

  • Decius followed, as he would have followed through the portals of Avernus.

    The Lion's Brood | Duffield Osborne
  • I have not at this moment the remotest conception where the engine-room is, or where lies the descent to that Avernus.

  • There was a volcanic lake near Cumae called Avernus, whose waters gave out sulphureous vapours.

  • A vast iron cauldron with half the fires of Avernus beneath it is partly filled with water that soon boils furiously.

    Sixes and Sevens | O. Henry
  • He was well out of Avernus and beginning to scale Olympus, and his mind reverted to the earlier and happier part of the evening.

    The Silver Butterfly | Mrs. Wilson Woodrow