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
Related formsA·ver·nal, adjective
< Greek áornos
birdless, equivalent to a- a-6
) bird + -os
[uh-vur-noh; Italian ah-ver-naw]
a crater lake in S Italy, near Naples and the Tyrrhenian Sea, thought by ancients to be the entrance to the underworld.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for avernus
Historical Examples of avernus
In safety, as thou desirest, shall he reach the haven of Avernus.
Decius followed, as he would have followed through the portals of Avernus.
Of which lesson her own history is a part, and her habitation by the Avernus lake.
Last night we ascended Avernus again, and did the usual guard on the summit.
It has been said with more truth than poetic fancy that the descent to Avernus is easy.
British Dictionary definitions for avernus
a crater lake in Italy, near Naples: in ancient times regarded as an entrance to hellLatin name: Avernus (əˈvɜːnəs)
Word Origin for Averno
from Latin, from Greek aornos without birds, from a- 1 + ornis bird; referring to the legend that the lake's sulphurous exhalations killed birds
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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