[per-dish-uh n]


a state of final spiritual ruin; loss of the soul; damnation.
the future state of the wicked.
utter destruction or ruin.
Obsolete. loss.

Origin of perdition

1300–50; < Latin perditiōn- (stem of perditiō) destruction, equivalent to perdit(us) (past participle of perdere to do in, ruin, lose, equivalent to per- per- + di-, combining form of dare to give + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn -ion; replacing Middle English perdiciun < Old French < Latin, as above Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perdition

Historical Examples of perdition

  • He would tell me to go to perdition, probably, and I shouldn't blame him.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Perdition to the land where a man could not live unless he was a skunk or a cur.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • If was the world against Kate, let the world go to perdition.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Since she went I know what perdition means; what darkness is.

  • He resisted, as though I had been forcing him over the brink of perdition.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

British Dictionary definitions for perdition



  1. final and irrevocable spiritual ruin
  2. this state as one that the wicked are said to be destined to endure for ever
another word for hell
archaic utter disaster, ruin, or destruction

Word Origin for perdition

C14: from Late Latin perditiō ruin, from Latin perdere to lose, from per- (away) + dāre to give
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 perdition

mid-14c., "fact of being lost or destroyed," from Old French perdicion "loss, calamity, perdition" of souls (11c.) and directly from Late Latin perditionem (nominative perditio) "ruin, destruction," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin perdere "do away with, destroy; lose, throw away, squander," from per- "through" (here perhaps with intensive or completive force, "to destruction") + dare "to put" (see date (n.1)). Special theological sense of "condition of damnation, spiritual ruin, state of souls in Hell" (late 14c.) has gradually extinguished the general use of the word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper