Hell Definition

The place where the spirits of the dead are.
Webster's New World
The abode of Satan and of all other devils and of all the damned.
Webster's New World
A state of separation from God; exclusion from God's presence.
American Heritage
A state or place of woe and anguish, arrived at by the wicked or unrepentant after death.
Webster's New World
The abode of the dead in any of various religious traditions, such as the Hebrew Sheol or the Greek Hades; the underworld.
American Heritage

In various religions, the place where some or all spirits are believed to go after death.

Do Muslims believe that all non-Muslims go to hell?

(Abrahamic religions, uncountable) The place where devils live and where sinners are tortured after death.

May you rot in hell!
To behave riotously; carouse.
Out all night helling around.
American Heritage
To live or act in a reckless or dissolute way.
Webster's New World
Used to express irritation, anger, etc.
Webster's New World
for the hell of it
  • For no particular reason; on a whim:

    walked home by the old school for the hell of it.

American Heritage
hell on
  • Damaging or destructive to:

    Driving in a hilly town is hell on the brakes.

  • Unpleasant to or painful for.
American Heritage
hell or
  • Troubles or difficulties of whatever magnitude:

    We're staying, come hell or high water.

American Heritage
hell to pay
  • Great trouble:

    If we're wrong, there'll be hell to pay.

American Heritage
like hell
  • Used as an intensive:

    He ran like hell to catch the bus.

  • Used to express strong contradiction or refusal:

    He says he's going along with us—Like hell he is!

American Heritage

Other Word Forms of Hell



Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Hell

Origin of Hell

  • From Middle English helle, from Old English hel, hell, helle (“nether world, abode of the dead, hell”), from Proto-Germanic *haljō (“nether world, concealed place”), from Proto-Indo-European *kel- (“to cover, conceal, save”). Cognate Dutch hel (“hell”), German Hölle (“hell”), Swedish helvete (“hell”), Icelandic hel (“the abode of the dead, death”). Also related to the Hel of Germanic mythology. See also hele.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English helle from Old English kel-1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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