the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, where propitiatory sacrifices were made to Moloch. II Kings 23:10.
any place of extreme torment or suffering.

Origin of Gehenna

< Late Latin < Greek Géenna < Hebrew Gē-Hinnōm hell, short for gē ben Hinnōm literally, valley of the son of Hinnom Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gehenna

Historical Examples of gehenna

  • Why, then, was Sam Marlowe visiting this ozone-swept Gehenna?

    The Girl on the Boat

    Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

  • There'd be a Gehenna of a bill to pay when they started decelerating.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Gehenna, I don't even know what I'd do, if I'd gotten myself into a mess like that.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Gehenna is beneath the lowest part of the earth and the seas of darkness.

    Modern Persia

    Mooshie G. Daniel

  • Such a swash of offal as I caught couldn't be found in Gehenna.

    A King of Tyre

    James M. Ludlow

British Dictionary definitions for gehenna



Old Testament the valley below Jerusalem, where children were sacrificed and where idolatry was practised (II Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 19:6) and where later offal and refuse were slowly burned
New Testament Judaism a place where the wicked are punished after death
a place or state of pain and torment

Word Origin for Gehenna

C16: from Late Latin, from Greek Geena, from Hebrew Gê' Hinnōm, literally: valley of Hinnom, symbolic of hell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for gehenna

"hell," 1620s, from Church Latin, from Greek geenna, from post-biblical Hebrew gehinnom, "Hell, place of fiery torment for the dead," figurative use of the place name Ge Hinnom "the Valley of Hinnom," southwest of Jerusalem, where, according to Jer. xix.5, children were sacrificed to Moloch.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper