[ in-fur-noh; for 3 also Italian een-fer-naw ]
See synonyms for inferno on
noun,plural in·fer·nos.
  1. hell; the infernal regions.

  2. a place or region that resembles hell: The ironworks was an inferno of molten steel and half-naked bodies.

  1. (initial capital letter, italics) the first part of Dante's Divine Comedy, depicting hell and the suffering of the damned.: Compare paradise (def. 7), purgatory (def. 2).

Origin of inferno

1825–35; <Italian <Late Latin infernus hell, noun use of Latin infernus;see infernal

Other words for inferno

Words Nearby inferno Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use inferno in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for inferno


/ (ɪnˈfɜːnəʊ) /

nounplural -nos
  1. the inferno (sometimes capital) hell; the infernal region

  2. any place or state resembling hell, esp a conflagration

Origin of inferno

C19: from Italian, from Late Latin infernus hell

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 Inferno


The first section of The Divine Comedy, by Dante. Inferno is the Italian word for “hell.”

Notes for Inferno

By extension, an “inferno” is a hot and terrible place or condition.

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.