Meaning of HELL in English
I. hell 1 S1 W3 /hel/ BrE AmE noun
[ Language: Old English ]
1 . WHEN YOU DIE [uncountable] ( also Hell ) the place where the souls of bad people are believed to be punished after death, especially in the Christian and Muslim religions
2 . SUFFERING [singular, uncountable] a place or situation in which people suffer very much, either physically or emotionally:
War is hell.
My mother made my life hell.
These past few days have been a living hell.
She must have gone through hell every day, the way we teased her about her weight.
pure/absolute/sheer etc hell
They described the war zone as sheer hell.
He says his time in jail was hell on earth.
3 . UNPLEASANT SITUATION [singular, uncountable] informal a situation, experience, or place that is very unpleasant:
The traffic was hell this morning.
pure/absolute/sheer etc hell
‘How was your exam?’ ‘Sheer hell!’
4 . what/how/why/where etc the hell? spoken not polite used to show that you are very surprised or angry:
How the hell are we going to do that?
5 . a/one hell of a something spoken not polite used to emphasize the idea that something is very big, very good, very bad etc:
I’ve come one hell of a long way to get here.
Envy like yours is a hell of a good motive for murder.
6 . go to hell! spoken not polite used when you are very angry with someone:
If John doesn’t like it, he can go to hell!
7 . feel/look like hell spoken not polite to feel or look very ill or tired:
I’ve been feeling like hell all week.
8 . beat/surprise/scare the hell out of somebody informal not polite to beat, surprise etc someone very much:
We have only one aim: to beat the hell out of the opposition.
9 . (just) for the hell of it spoken not polite for no serious reason, or only for fun:
They shot people just for the hell of it.
10 . what the hell! spoken not polite used to say that you will do something and not worry about any problems it causes:
Elaine poured herself a large glass of whisky – what the hell, it was Christmas.
11 . to hell with somebody/something spoken not polite used to say that you do not care about someone or something any more:
I want to live for the present, and to hell with the consequences.
12 . run/hurt/fight etc like hell informal not polite to run, fight etc very quickly or very much:
My new shoes hurt like hell.
13 . like hell/the hell spoken not polite used to say that you do not agree with what someone has said:
‘You keep out of this, Ma.’ ‘Like hell I will.’
14 . the something/somebody from hell informal not polite something or someone that is the worst you can imagine:
She was the flatmate from hell.
It was the holiday from hell.
15 . guilty/shy/mad/angry etc as hell spoken not polite very guilty, shy etc:
If I had your problems, I’d be mad as hell.
16 . sure as hell spoken not polite used to emphasize that something is true:
I don’t scare easily, but I was sure as hell scared.
17 . give somebody hell informal not polite to treat someone in an unpleasant or angry way:
She didn’t like him, and gave him hell at the slightest opportunity.
18 . get the hell out (of somewhere) informal not polite to leave a place quickly and suddenly:
Let’s get the hell out of here!
19 . there’ll be hell to pay spoken not polite used to say that people will be very angry:
If they find us there’ll be hell to pay.
20 . go to hell and back to go through a very difficult situation:
I’d go to hell and back for that boy.
21 . all hell broke loose informal not polite used to say that people suddenly become very noisy or angry:
Journalists woke him with the news and all hell broke loose.
22 . come hell or high water informal not polite in spite of any problems or difficulties:
I decided I would get the job done by Friday, come hell or high water.
23 . go to hell in a handbasket American English informal not polite if a system or organization has gone to hell in a handbasket, it has stopped working well and is now working very badly:
The education system in this country has gone to hell in a handbasket.
24 . hell’s bells ( also hell’s teeth British English ) spoken old-fashioned used to express great annoyance or surprise
25 . play (merry) hell with something British English informal to make something stop working or happening as it should:
The cold weather played hell with the weekend sports schedule.
26 . raise hell informal not polite to protest strongly and angrily about a situation
27 . run/go hell for leather informal not polite to run as fast as possible
28 . hell on wheels American English informal not polite someone who does exactly what they want and does not care what happens as a result.
29 . when hell freezes over informal not polite used to say that something will never happen
30 . catch hell American English spoken not polite to be blamed or punished:
You’ll catch hell when your Mom comes home!
⇨ not a hope in hell (of doing something) at ↑ hope 2 (3)
II. hell 2 BrE AmE interjection not polite
1 . used to express anger or annoyance:
Oh hell! I’ve left my purse at home.
2 . used to emphasize a statement:
Well, hell, I don’t know!
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012