stubbornly or recklessly determined.
going at terrific speed.


in a hellbent manner; with reckless determination; at full speed.

Origin of hellbent

An Americanism dating back to 1825–35; hell + bent1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hell-bent

Contemporary Examples of hell-bent

Historical Examples of hell-bent

  • After that she was sure I was a lost soul and hell-bent for certain.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • He's hell-bent on takin' Dinsmore to prison so as to make a big name for himself.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • Let a man be hell-bent or heaven-bent, somewhere in his track is a woman's feet.

  • "I'll make it three, seein' ye're so hell-bent on a trade," he called.

    The Promise

    James B. Hendryx

  • But he was hard-mouthed, and stiff-necked and hell-bent on having his own way about things.

    I Married a Ranger

    Dama Margaret Smith

British Dictionary definitions for hell-bent



(postpositive and foll by on) informal strongly or rashly intent
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 hell-bent



also hell-bent, 1835, U.S., originally slang, from hell + bent (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper