View synonyms for hellish


[ hel-ish ]


  1. of, like, or suitable to hell; infernal; vile; horrible:

    It was a hellish war.

  2. miserable; abominable; execrable:

    We had a hellish time getting through traffic.

  3. devilishly bad:

    The child's behavior was hellish most of the day.


/ ˈhɛlɪʃ /


  1. of or resembling hell
  2. wicked; cruel
  3. informal.
    very difficult or unpleasant


  1. informal.

    a hellish good idea

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Derived Forms

  • ˈhellishly, adverb
  • ˈhellishness, noun

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Other Words From

  • hellish·ly adverb
  • hellish·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of hellish1

First recorded in 1520–30; hell + -ish 1

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Example Sentences

Yet the welcoming atmosphere represented for thousands of migrants a moment of rest and hope after a hellish journey and an indefinite future.

From Time

For anyone who thought vaccines would quickly end this hellish pandemic, think again.

Rocky neighbors were too dry and cold like Mars, or too hot and hellish like Venus.

Although Venus is uninhabitable today, the fact that it may have been habitable at one point means it wasn’t always destined for such a hellish fate if circumstances broke a little more favorably.

Hickson’s basic design was to put volunteers through ten weeks of fairly hellish training, involving six days a week of 40 minutes of cycling or running at intensities that reached 90 to 100 percent of max heart rate by the end.

After many hellish months in Liberia, it seems the worst could be over.

But there is much to be said for a private, hellish experience becoming an issue of public debate.

From Ferguson to Gaza to Iraq, this summer has been hellish.

He was finally released in 2004, after almost 40 hellish years of brutal internment.

And that means it has to potential to redeem Christie—or make his already-hellish 2014 much, much worse.

This, they said, was no human being like themselves; such hellish practices could have but one origin.

So this was the accursed one who had done the hellish deed, and it was human folly that had caused this demoniacal explosion.

This allusion to the hellish gambling which went on in the dead man's house, was his only funeral oration.

They are the night force come on deck for a breath of air between working their shifts in the hellish heat below.

They saw the oncoming hordes of brutes in a hellish-looking garb, and they sent back the answer: "Retire be damned!"


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