Definition of infernal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈfəːn(ə)l/


1Relating to or characteristic of hell or the underworld: the infernal regions the infernal heat of the forge
More example sentences
  • Mapping the infernal regions of Hell and Purgatory with a geographer's precision, Botticelli takes the viewer on a journey of visceral, blood-curdling horror.
  • Scary images flash on the screen as Gene begins his incantations to the infernal minions of hell.
  • Like the first film, the second is framed by opening titles describing the Buddhist conception of the most infernal level of hell, a timeless space in which one's identity and conscience no longer has any meaning.
of hell, hellish, lower, nether, subterranean, underworld;
Hadean, Plutonic, Plutonian, Stygian, Styxian, Tartarean, Acherontic, Avernal
rare chthonic, helly
2 [attributive] informal Irritating and tiresome (used for emphasis): you’re an infernal nuisance
More example sentences
  • From a civilian's point of view, it was an infernal nuisance.
  • It is all an infernal nuisance… it seems to me the time has arrived to set about being a man of letters.
  • No prizes for guessing what has caused this temporary regression into childhood… this damned infernal blog!
damned, damn, damnable, wretched, accursed, rotten, horrible;
annoying, irritating, infuriating, exasperating
Australian/New Zealand informal plurry
British informal, dated bally, ruddy, deuced, dashed, cursed
vulgar slang frigging, fucking



Pronunciation: /ɪnˈfəːnəli/
Example sentences
  • Not only are they infernally cute and little (barely more than two and a half metres long), but they have interchangeable exterior panels, so I could change my car's colour whenever my mood shifted.
  • I generally try to avoid pitch-dark, infernally hot enclosures, but now that Brown is my new best friend I find his preamble so avuncular and sweet that I almost consider it.
  • My online friends also give me things to do: Help with research, nonsense games to play, and lately, an infernally frustrating quiz from the marketers of the Da Vinci Code.


Late Middle English: from Old French, from Christian Latin infernalis, from Latin infernus 'below, underground', used by Christians to mean 'hell', on the pattern of inferni (masculine plural) 'the shades' and inferna (neuter plural) 'the lower regions'.

Words that rhyme with infernal

colonel, diurnal, eternal, external, fraternal, internal, journal, kernel, maternal, nocturnal, paternal, supernal, vernal

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in¦fer|nal

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