1A place regarded in various religions as a spiritual realm of evil and suffering, often traditionally depicted as a place of perpetual fire beneath the earth where the wicked are punished after death.
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- In that explanation, the hell realm was in the depths of the earth.
- We must always remember that the purifying fires of heaven are hotter than the fires of hell.
- Do you want reliable answers concerning issues like life, forgiveness, death, heaven or hell?
1.1A state or place of great suffering; an unbearable experience: I’ve been through hell he made her life hell
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- A callous dog owner has escaped going to jail after making his pet's life a living hell of prolonged torment.
- It truly has been the closest thing to a living hell that I've ever experienced.
- The stories from those inside haunts anyone who hears them, and this is perhaps the closest thing to a living hell.
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1Used to express annoyance or surprise or for emphasis: oh, hell—where will this all end? hell, no, we were all married
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- We don't even mind that you came up with the next new year first; hell, we're used to it.
- I suppose it hurt because, hell, no girl likes having another girl picked over her.
- Japan is actually bigger than the UK, bigger than Italy - hell, it's even bigger than Germany.
1.1 (the hell) informal Expressing anger, contempt, or disbelief: who the hell are you? the hell you are!
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- The first, and perhaps greatest issue, is why the hell are the deaths censored as much as they are in this game?
- Oh, I think you've got it all right, but whatever the hell it is you've got, keep it the hell away from me!
- If there are no ghosts, then who the hell are all these people?
all hell broke loose
- informal Suddenly there was pandemonium.More example sentences
- Suddenly all hell broke loose and everybody dived for cover.… It was only later that the man's story emerged.
- Suddenly, all hell broke loose and a couple of compartments were set on fire.
- Suddenly all hell broke loose as one of the suspects struggled free, grabbed a knife and attacked an unarmed officer.
(as) —— as hell
- informal Used for emphasis: he’s as guilty as hellMore example sentences
- With a famous director father and fabulous superstar mum, Liza never stood a hope in hell of achieving normality.
- There's no chance of escape and there was no way in hell I was going to make it known that I am in the adjacent room.
- All the other teams saw us putting up ours so began theirs, but only Carrie's team has a hope in hell of beating our masterpiece.
be hell on
- informal Be very unpleasant or harmful to: summer can be hell on a man’s skinMore example sentences
- We're in one of those no-fun-news cycles, which is hell on a guy who likes a happy cocktail with his evening reading.
- Going through old blog stuff is hell on the brain.
- Going back to Standard Time is hell on us nightowls.
catch (or get) hell
- informal Be severely reprimanded: Paul kept his mouth shut and looked apologetic—we got hellMore example sentences
- Of course, nothing is sweeter to a kid than imagining their parent getting hell from some other bigger older parent.
- I get hell when I get home: ‘These stains will NEVER come out.’
- Or just about anything, because trying to spare the person that I'm seeing or involved with at that time because it seems to be a lot of - I mean, he's probably going to get hell if he went home, if he said the truth and went home.
come hell or high water
- Whatever difficulties may occur.More example sentences
- Once a good design solution is found that totally suits the product, it is stuck with consistently come hell or high water, like a good piece of product design that you know just doesn't need any more tinkering with.
- Montreal merchants, worried that the newly-opened Erie Canal will sap business to New York, decide to build a canal of their own come hell or high water.
- Like my long-suffering employee, I want my money to be in my bank account come hell or high water with all the deductions already made, all the expenses already claimed and I don't want to have to fill in any more forms about it.
for the hell of it
- informal Just for fun: she walked on window ledges for the hell of itMore example sentences
- Request a matching waistcoat just for the hell of it.
- Eventually I'll review all the movies I've seen, just for the hell of it.
- If you read the small print on their extremely lengthy content guidelines they basically add a clause that says they can simply delete a site if they feel like doing so, just for the hell of it!
—— from hell
- informal An extremely unpleasant or troublesome instance or example of something: I’ve got a hangover from hellMore example sentences
- The torment imposed by neighbours from hell can go on for years.
- You could be caught on camera when a mobile CCTV unit takes to Southend's streets to snoop on neighbours from hell.
- An innovative help group for residents whose lives are blighted by neighbours from hell will be piloted in two York areas.
get the hell out (of)
- informal Escape quickly from (a place or situation): let’s all get the hell out of hereMore example sentences
- In part this is because I got the hell out quite quickly.
- North takes his readers to a place most will never have dreamed of going before, or if they have they have quickly got the hell out.
- There is nothing really stopping me getting the hell out of this situation.
give someone hell
- informal Severely reprimand or make things very unpleasant for someone.More example sentences
reprimand severely, rebuke, admonish, chastise, castigate, chide, upbraid, reprove, scold, berate, remonstrate with, reprehend, take to task, lambaste;read the riot act, give a piece of one's mind, rake/haul over the coalsinformal tell off, dress down, give an earful, give a roasting, rap over the knuckles, let have it, bawl out, come down hard on, lay into, blast, chew outinformal hassle, give a hard time
- I'm looking forward to going over there and giving them hell.
- All I do is to tell them the truth, and that hurts a lot worse than giving them hell.
- He has got to have oxygen because his lungs are giving him hell.
go to hell
- informal Used to express angry rejection of someone or something.More example sentences
- He told the judge to go to hell, declared he won't be coming back and complained once again about life as a detainee.
- My feelings can go to hell; I'm assured that the rest of me is going there anyway.
- Whosoever is offended by its statements must pack and go to hell!
go to (or through) hell and back
go to hell in a handbasket
- North American informal Undergo a rapid process of deterioration.More example sentences
- Signs of a global recession inevitably conjure up thoughts of the last time the whole world went to hell in a handbasket: the Great Depression of the 1930s.
- I usually have little sympathy with claims that the culture is going to hell in a handbasket, but after seeing those numbers, I instinctively concluded, ‘the culture is going to hell in a handbasket.’
- You know all the Democrats are going to hell in a handbasket.
hell for leather
- As fast as possible.More example sentences
- People are going to be up there going hell for leather.
- You are left with two choices - either you let it drift, and risk losing control over the argument, or you go hell for leather and actively push it forward.
- But we are going hell for leather to govern by ourselves.
hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
- proverb A woman who has been rejected by a man can be ferociously angry and vindictive.More example sentences
- Another recipient, who also wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘On the basis that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, we can only guess the author must suspect her husband is being unfaithful and is very bitter.’
- They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and, as Susan Flockhart discovered, cyberspace has become the preferred instrument of revenge
- It's been said that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, so just imagine what kind of trouble you could find from an angry god.
- informal Used to emphasize something very bad or great: it cost us a hell of a lot of moneyMore example sentences
- It will take time and effort and money too, though a hell of a lot less than buying one legally.
- I am by no means a businesswoman, but I'm pretty sure you need one hell of a lot of money to open a station.
- It doesn't seem like it now, but it was a hell of a lot of money back then.
hell's half acre
- North American A great distance.
like hell informal
- All I know is that my mouth hurts like hell and I've about as much chance of getting in to see my dentist this week as I have getting into a size 10 dress.
- I didn't really think about it much as I grew up, unless I bashed my hand against something then the tiny scar hurt like hell.
- Either way, it hurts like hell on my right side when I breathe in.
not a hope in hell
- see hope.More example sentences
- In my view they have not a hope in hell's chance of winning back power without a radical agenda.
- There is not a hope in hell of a review of the speed limits at present.
- It doesn't matter that there's not a hope in hell of the stereo ever being loud enough: driving this is fun.
- informal Make a fuss; create havoc.More example sentences
- Trouble was, it never got done, until the doctor himself arrived and played merry hell because I hadn't been given anything to eat or drink for almost 2 days.
- Also, there was one weapon the enemy surprised us with in this campaign, and they played hell with us.
- We caught up with her as she was driving home from a three hour trip along a mountainous Oregon highway that played hell with the cell-phone connection.
the road to hell is paved with good intentions
- proverb Promises and plans must be put into action, or else they are useless.More example sentences
- Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
- To sum it up, the road to hell is paved with good intentions (of which the peace movement has many) but a lack of action now condemns people to life in its earthly equivalent.
- And, of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions…
there will be hell to pay
- informal Serious trouble will occur as a result of a previous action.More example sentences
- But when they cross the wrong guy, there will be hell to pay.
- If work does not commence on the proposed sewerage scheme for the town within one month there will be hell to pay.
- If she gets out of line and doesn't heed their first warning, then they promised there will be hell to pay for strike two!
to hell with
- informal Expressing one’s scorn or lack of concern for (someone or something): to hell with the consequencesMore example sentences
- To hell with quality, to hell with life, to hell with savoring the moment.
- We should have stuck to our guns, people tell me, and to hell with Liverpool and to hell with the Tory leadership.
- These characters have a tendency to pass moral judgments based on their beliefs, and to hell with what anyone else thinks.
until (or till) hell freezes over
- For an extremely long time or forever.More example sentences
- ‘I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over,’ Stevenson says.
- At this time any informed Canberra observer knows that we will be waiting until hell freezes over.
- Clarke responded, ‘Well, they'll say that until hell freezes over.’
what the hell
- informal It doesn’t matter.More example sentences
- I'm sure more blogs will comment on this before long, but what the hell, I'm still going to.
- You're already going to be home late, so what the hell, take it easy, give your weary eyes and brain a break.
- My life is really too shallow and boring for a blog but what the hell, nobody actually had to read it.
1Very fast, much, hard, etc. (used for emphasis): it hurts like hell
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- More example sentences
- Is the world hurtling hellward even faster than usual, or is it just me?
- They are represented as performing the hellward journey on, as we infer, benevolent missions.
- Leaving means the chaos and carnage spiral ever faster hellward.
Pronunciation: /-wərd/adverb & adjective