adjective, adverb Pronunciation Spelling.

hell of a (used as an intensifier): We had a helluva time getting through the heavy traffic. She's a helluva good player!

Origin of helluva

First recorded in 1915–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for helluva

Contemporary Examples of helluva

Historical Examples of helluva

  • Orkins might be the forefather of a new race—a helluva race.

    The Whispering Spheres

    Russell Robert Winterbotham

  • "Your wife took a helluva chance, Gordon," Trench said heavily.

    Police Your Planet

    Lester del Rey

  • And a helluva recommendation we would get from him, too, I bet yer!

  • It's a helluva risk every time you make a shot, in spite of all the propaganda.

    Tight Squeeze

    Dean Charles Ing

  • But that would still be one helluva lot better than letting millions of acre feet just seep out to sea.

British Dictionary definitions for helluva


adverb, adjective informal

(intensifier)a helluva difficult job; he's a helluva guy
Southern African (intensifier)it's helluva tough out here
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 helluva

1910, attempt to represent the casual pronunciation of expression hell of a _____, which is attested from 1776 (see hell).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper