- (used as an intensifier to express surprise, anger, impatience, etc., often in the form of a question beginning with a WH-word): Why the hell can't the trains run on time? How the hell am I supposed to finish this by tomorrow?
- (used sarcastically or ironically to express the opposite of what is being stated): Are you listening to me? The hell you are!
DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?
Idioms for hell
- to be unpleasant to or painful for: These shoes are hell on my poor feet.
- to be harmful to: These country roads are hell on tires.
- to see what will happen; for adventure, fun, excitement, etc.: For the hell of it, let's just get on the next bus and see where it takes us.
- with no particular purpose; for no special reason: I called him up for the hell of it, and he offered me a job.
- with great speed, effort, intensity, etc.: We ran like hell to get home before the storm. She tried like hell to get him to change his mind.
- (used sarcastically or ironically to express the opposite of what is being stated): He says the motor will never break down? Like hell it won't!
- to indulge in wild celebration.
- to create an uproar; object violently to: She'll raise hell when she sees what your rabbit has done to her garden.
Origin of hell
OTHER WORDS FROM hellhell-like, adjective
Words nearby hell
British Dictionary definitions for what the hell
- the place or state of eternal punishment of the wicked after death, with Satan as its ruler
- forces of evil regarded as residing there
- to give someone a severe reprimand or punishment
- to be a source of annoyance or torment to someone
- (adverb) (intensifier)he works like hell
- an expression of strong disagreement with a previous statement, request, order, etc
- to create a noisy disturbance, as in fun
- to react strongly and unfavourably
- (intensifier) used in such phrases as what the hell, who the hell, etc
- an expression of strong disagreement or disfavour
Word Origin for hell
Cultural definitions for what the hell
Idioms and Phrases with what the hell (1 of 2)
It's not important, who cares, as in It cost a lot more, but what the hell, we can afford it. [Second half of 1800s] Also see what of it.
An intensive of what, as in What the hell do you think you're doing? [First half of 1800s] Also see under on earth.
Idioms and Phrases with what the hell (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with hell
- hell has no fury like a woman scorned
- hell of a
- hell on wheels
- hell or high water, come
- hell to pay
- (all hell) break loose
- devil (hell) of a
- for the hell of it
- give someone hell
- go to hell
- hot as hell
- like a bat out of hell
- like hell
- mad as a hornet (hell)
- not a hope in hell
- raise Cain (hell)
- road to hell is paved with good intentions
- shot to hell
- snowball's chance in hell
- till hell freezes over
- to hell and gone
- to hell with
- what the hell