Meaning of HELL in English


transcription, транскрипция: [ ˈhel ]


Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English helan to conceal, Old High German helan, Latin celare, Greek kalyptein

Date: before 12th century



(1) : a nether world in which the dead continue to exist : Hades

(2) : the nether realm of the devil and the demons in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment — often used in curses

go to hell

or as a generalized term of abuse

the hell with it

b. Christian Science : error 2b, sin


a. : a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness

war is hell — W. T. Sherman

b. : a place or state of turmoil or destruction

all hell broke loose

c. : a severe scolding ; also : flak , grief

gave me hell for coming in late

d. : unrestrained fun or sportiveness

the kids were full of hell

— often used in the phrase for the hell of it especially to suggest action on impulse or without a serious motive

decided to go for the hell of it

e. : an extremely unpleasant and often inescapable situation

rush-hour hell

3. archaic : a tailor's receptacle

4. — used as an interjection

hell , I don't know!

or as an intensive

hurts like hell

funny as hell

— often used in the phrase hell of a

it was one hell of a good fight

or hell out of

scared the hell out of him

or with the or in

moved way the hell up north

what in hell is wrong, now?

- from hell

- hell on

- hell or high water

- hell to pay

- what the hell

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.