Meaning of HELL in English


transcription, транскрипция: [ hel ]

( hells)

Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English.


In some religions, hell is the place where the Devil lives, and where wicked people are sent to be punished when they die. Hell is usually imagined as being under the ground and full of flames.



If you say that a particular situation or place is hell , you are emphasizing that it is extremely unpleasant.

...the hell of the Siberian labor camps...

= misery

N-VAR [ emphasis ]


Hell is used by some people when they are angry or excited, or when they want to emphasize what they are saying.

‘Hell, no!’ the doctor snapped.

EXCLAM [ emphasis ]


You can use as hell after adjectives or some adverbs to emphasize the adjective or adverb. ( INFORMAL )

The men might be armed, but they sure as hell weren’t trained...

PHRASE : adj PHR [ emphasis ]


If you say that a place or a situation is hell on earth or a hell on earth , you are emphasizing that it is extremely unpleasant or that it causes great suffering.

She believed she would die in the snake-infested sand dunes. She said: ‘It was hell on earth’.

= living hell

PHRASE : oft v-link PHR [ emphasis ]


If someone does something for the hell of it , or just for the hell of it , they do it for fun or for no particular reason. ( INFORMAL )

Managers seem to be spending millions just for the hell of it.

PHRASE : usu PHR with cl , PHR after v , n PHR


You can use from hell after a noun when you are emphasizing that something or someone is extremely unpleasant or evil. ( INFORMAL )

He’s a child from hell...

PHRASE : n PHR [ emphasis ]


If you tell someone to go to hell , you are angrily telling them to go away and leave you alone. ( INFORMAL, RUDE )

‘Well, you can go to hell!’ He swept out of the room.

PHRASE [ feelings ]


If you say that someone can go to hell , you are emphasizing angrily that you do not care about them and that they will not stop you doing what you want. ( INFORMAL, RUDE )

Peter can go to hell. It’s my money and I’ll leave it to who I want...

PHRASE [ emphasis ]


If you say that someone is going hell for leather , you are emphasizing that they are doing something or are moving very quickly and perhaps carelessly. ( INFORMAL )

The first horse often goes hell for leather, hits a few fences but gets away with it...

PHRASE : usu v PHR [ emphasis ]


Some people say like hell to emphasize that they strongly disagree with you or are strongly opposed to what you say. ( INFORMAL )

‘I’ll go myself.’—‘Like hell you will!’

PHRASE : usu PHR cl [ emphasis ]


Some people use like hell to emphasize how strong an action or quality is. ( INFORMAL )

It hurts like hell...

PHRASE : PHR after v [ emphasis ]


If you describe a place or situation as a living hell , you are emphasizing that it is extremely unpleasant. ( INFORMAL )

School is a living hell for some children.

PHRASE : v-link PHR [ emphasis ]


If you say that all hell breaks loose , you are emphasizing that a lot of arguing or fighting suddenly starts. ( INFORMAL )

He had an affair, I found out and then all hell broke loose.

PHRASE : V inflects [ emphasis ]


If you talk about a hell of a lot of something, or one hell of a lot of something, you mean that there is a large amount of it. ( INFORMAL )

The manager took a hell of a lot of money out of the club.

PHRASE : usu PHR of n / -ing [ emphasis ]


Some people use a hell of or one hell of to emphasize that something is very good, very bad, or very big. ( INFORMAL )

Whatever the outcome, it’s going to be one hell of a fight.

PHRASE : PHR n [ emphasis ]


Some people use the hell out of for emphasis after verbs such as ‘scare’, ‘irritate’, and ‘beat’. ( INFORMAL )

I patted the top of her head in the condescending way I knew irritated the hell out of her...

PHRASE : v PHR n [ emphasis ]


If you say there’ll be hell to pay , you are emphasizing that there will be serious trouble. ( INFORMAL )

There would be hell to pay when Ferguson and Tony found out about it.

PHRASE : V inflects [ emphasis ]


To play hell with something means to have a bad effect on it or cause great confusion. In British English, you can also say that one person or thing plays merry hell with another. ( INFORMAL )

Lord Beaverbrook, to put it bluntly, played hell with the war policy of the R.A.F...

PHRASE : V inflects , usu PHR with n


If you say that someone raises hell , you are emphasizing that they protest strongly and angrily about a situation in order to persuade other people to correct it or improve it. ( INFORMAL )

The only way to preserve democracy is to raise hell about its shortcomings.

PHRASE : V inflects [ emphasis ]


People sometimes use the hell for emphasis in questions, after words such as ‘what’, ‘where’, and ‘why’, often in order to express anger. ( INFORMAL, RUDE )

Where the hell have you been?...

PHRASE : quest PHR [ emphasis ]


If you go through hell , or if someone puts you through hell , you have a very difficult or unpleasant time. ( INFORMAL )

All of you seem to have gone through hell making this record...

PHRASE : V inflects


If you say you hope to hell or wish to hell that something is true, you are emphasizing that you strongly hope or wish it is true. ( INFORMAL )

I hope to hell you’re right.

PHRASE : V inflects , PHR that [ emphasis ]


If you say that you will do something come hell or high water , you are emphasizing that you are determined to do it, in spite of the difficulties involved.

I’ve always managed to get into work come hell or high water.

PHRASE : usu PHR after v [ emphasis ]


You can say ‘ what the hell ’ when you decide to do something in spite of the doubts that you have about it. ( INFORMAL )

What the hell, I thought, at least it will give the lazy old man some exercise.

PHRASE [ feelings ]


If you say ‘ to hell with ’ something, you are emphasizing that you do not care about something and that it will not stop you from doing what you want to do. ( INFORMAL )

To hell with this, I’m getting out of here...

PHRASE : PHR n [ emphasis ]

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.