the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the abode of evil and condemned spirits; Gehenna or Tartarus.
any place or state of torment or misery: They made their father's life a hell on earth.
something that causes torment or misery: Having that cut stitched without anesthesia was hell.
the powers of evil.
the abode of the dead; Sheol or Hades.
extreme disorder or confusion; chaos: The children let both dogs into the house, and all hell broke loose.
Informal. something remarkable of its kind (usually used in the phrase a hell of a or one hell of a): That was one hell of a great game.
a receptacle into which a tailor throws scraps.
Also called hellbox. Printing. a box into which a printer throws discarded type.
the utterance of “hell” in swearing or for emphasis.
the hell, Informal.
(used as an intensifier to express surprise, anger, impatience, etc., often in the form of a question beginning with a WH-word): Why the hell can't the trains run on time?How the hell am I supposed to finish this by tomorrow?
(used sarcastically or ironically to express the opposite of what is being stated): Are you listening to me? The hell you are!
(used to express surprise, irritation, disgust, etc.)
hell around, Slang. to live or act in a wild or dissolute manner: All they cared about was drinking and helling around.
Idioms about hell
be hell on, Slang.
to be unpleasant to or painful for: These shoes are hell on my poor feet.
to be harmful to: These country roads are hell on tires.
for the hell of it, Informal.
to see what will happen; for adventure, fun, excitement, etc.: For the hell of it, let's just get on the next bus and see where it takes us.
with no particular purpose; for no special reason: I called him up for the hell of it, and he offered me a job.
get / catch hell, Slang. to suffer a scolding; receive a harsh reprimand: We'll get hell from our parents if we stay out late again.
give someone hell, Informal. to reprimand or reproach severely.
go to hell in a handbasket, Informal. handbasket (def. 2).
hell on wheels, Slang. extremely demanding, fast-paced, aggressive, effective, or the like: The new job is hell on wheels. Our sales staff is hell on wheels when it comes to getting the most out of every account.
like hell, Informal.
with great speed, effort, intensity, etc.: We ran like hell to get home before the storm. She tried like hell to get him to change his mind.
(used sarcastically or ironically to express the opposite of what is being stated): He says the motor will never break down? Like hell it won't!
play hell with, Slang. to deal recklessly with; bring injury or harm to: Snowstorms played hell with the flow of city traffic.
raise hell, Slang.
to indulge in wild celebration.
to create an uproar; object violently to: She'll raise hell when she sees what your rabbit has done to her garden.
the / to hell with, Informal. (used to express dismissal, rejection, contempt, disappointment, or the like): If we have to walk five miles to see the view, the hell with it! He wouldn't even speak to me, so to hell with him!
what the hell, Informal. (used to express lack of concern or worry, indifference, abandonment, surrender, etc.): As long as you're borrowing $100, what the hell, borrow $200.
- hell-like, adjective
How to use hell in a sentence
It won’t solve the problem, but it will sure as hell lower the temperature.
Given the state of misinformation globally, he has a hell of a repair job ahead.
In the second movie, which came out in 1991, Bill and Ted end up on a “bogus journey” that takes them, for whatever reason, to the afterlife — both hell and heaven.
Venus is also very similar to Earth in size and composition, yet somehow it has turned into a hell planet.These Images Expose the Dark Side of the Solar System - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Corey S. Powell | August 26, 2020 | Nautilus
Doing good and doing well cannot be mutually exclusive for us to have a chance in hell at creating the world that we want to live in.Uncharted Power’s Jessica O. Matthews has a plan to revive America’s crumbling infrastructure | Brooke Henderson | August 23, 2020 | Fortune
hell, he says Koenig never referred to it as Serial or even as a podcast.The Deal With Serial’s Jay? He’s Pissed Off, Mucks Up Our Timeline | Emily Shire | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The revelation that, at age 42, Ben Affleck has one hell of an ass.Year of the Butt: How the Booty Changed the World in 2014 | Kevin Fallon | December 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
How the hell does somebody show up at a David Duke organized event in 2002 and claim ignorance?No. 3 Republican Admits Talking to White Supremacist Conference | Tim Mak | December 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
hell, one of the Dixie Chicks even offered to Uber her balls over to the company.Sony: Hollywood’s Most Subversive Studio Under Attack | Marlow Stern | December 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
And, the Chilbosan would make a hell of a comedy movie; “Fawlty Towers” meets the “Great Dictator.”Inside the ‘Surprisingly Great’ North Korean Hacker Hotel | Michael Daly | December 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
They used to declare that every unbaptised baby would go to hell and burn for ever in fire and brimstone.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
The city hell hounds sprang to meet them and the slaughter of inoffensive Europeans began in Darya Gunj.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
A gentleman does not call his opponents vipers and consign them to hell, but Jahveh is not under any such obligations.Solomon and Solomonic Literature | Moncure Daniel Conway
hell below was in an uproar to meet thee at thy coming, it stirred up the giants for thee.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
To escape from these horrible theories, the Christians (some of them) have thrown over the doctrines of hell and the Devil.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
British Dictionary definitions for hell (1 of 2)
Christianity (sometimes capital)
the place or state of eternal punishment of the wicked after death, with Satan as its ruler
forces of evil regarded as residing there
pain, extreme difficulty, etc
informal a cause of such difficulty or suffering: war is hell
US and Canadian high spirits or mischievousness: there's hell in that boy
a box used by a tailor for discarded material
rare a gambling house, booth, etc
as hell (intensifier): tired as hell
for the hell of it informal for the fun of it
from hell informal denoting a person or thing that is particularly bad or alarming: neighbour from hell; hangover from hell
give someone hell informal
to give someone a severe reprimand or punishment
to be a source of annoyance or torment to someone
hell of a or helluva informal (intensifier): a hell of a good performance
hell for leather at great speed
hell or high water or come hell or high water informal whatever difficulties may arise
hell to pay informal serious consequences, as of a foolish action
like hell informal
(adverb) (intensifier): he works like hell
an expression of strong disagreement with a previous statement, request, order, etc
play hell with or play merry hell with informal to throw into confusion and disorder; disrupt
to create a noisy disturbance, as in fun
to react strongly and unfavourably
the hell informal : the hell I will
(intensifier) used in such phrases as what the hell, who the hell, etc
an expression of strong disagreement or disfavour
informal an exclamation of anger, annoyance, surprise, etc (Also in exclamations such as hell's bells, hell's teeth, etc)
British Dictionary definitions for he'll (2 of 2)
he will or he shall
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
Cultural definitions for hell
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with hell
In addition to the idioms beginning with hell
- hell has no fury like a woman scorned
- hell of a
- hell on wheels
- hell or high water, come
- hell to pay
- (all hell) break loose
- devil (hell) of a
- for the hell of it
- give someone hell
- go to hell
- hot as hell
- like a bat out of hell
- like hell
- mad as a hornet (hell)
- not a hope in hell
- raise Cain (hell)
- road to hell is paved with good intentions
- shot to hell
- snowball's chance in hell
- till hell freezes over
- to hell and gone
- to hell with
- what the hell
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.