[hel-fahyuh r]
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  1. the fire of hell.
  2. punishment in hell.
  3. (initial capital letter) Military. a laser-guided U.S. Army antiarmor missile designed for launch from a helicopter.

Origin of hellfire

before 1000; Middle English, Old English helle fȳr; see hell, fire
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for hellfire


  1. the torment and punishment of hell, envisaged as eternal fire
  2. (modifier) characterizing sermons or preachers that emphasize this aspect of Christian beliefhellfire evangelism
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 hellfire

also hell fire, from Old English hellefyr, in which helle is the genitive case of hell. It translates Greek gehenna tou pyros, literally "fiery hell." Also used in Middle English for "erysipelas" (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper