like a bat out of hell


Moving extremely fast, as in She ran down the street like a bat out of hell. This expression presumably alludes to the rapid darting movement of bats and, Charles Earle Funk theorized, their avoidance of such light as might be cast by the fires of hell. [c. 1900] For a synonym, see like greased lightning.

QUIZZES

Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following bird names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.