Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The abode of condemned souls and devils in some religions; the place of eternal punishment for the wicked after death, presided over by Satan.
  • n. A state of separation from God; exclusion from God's presence.
  • n. The abode of the dead, identified with the Hebrew Sheol and the Greek Hades; the underworld.
  • n. A situation or place of evil, misery, discord, or destruction: "War is hell” ( William Tecumseh Sherman).
  • n. Torment; anguish: went through hell on the job.
  • n. The powers of darkness and evil.
  • n. Informal One that causes trouble, agony, or annoyance: The boss is hell when a job is poorly done.
  • n. A sharp scolding: gave the student hell for cheating.
  • n. Informal Excitement, mischievousness, or high spirits: We did it for the sheer hell of it.
  • n. A tailor's receptacle for discarded material.
  • n. Printing A hellbox.
  • n. Informal Used as an intensive: How the hell can I go? You did one hell of a job.
  • n. Archaic A gambling house.
  • intransitive v. Informal To behave riotously; carouse: out all night helling around.
  • interj. Used to express anger, disgust, or impatience.
  • idiom for the hell of it For no particular reason; on a whim: walked home by the old school for the hell of it.
  • idiom hell on Informal Damaging or destructive to: Driving in a hilly town is hell on the brakes.
  • idiom hell on Informal Unpleasant to or painful for.
  • idiom or Troubles or difficulties of whatever magnitude: We're staying, come hell or high water.
  • idiom hell to pay Great trouble: If we're wrong, there'll be hell to pay.
  • idiom like hell Informal Used as an intensive: He ran like hell to catch the bus.
  • idiom like hell Informal Used to express strong contradiction or refusal: He says he's going along with us—Like hell he is!

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. In various religions, the place where some or all spirits are believed to go after death
  • proper n. The place where devils live and where sinners are punished after death
  • n. A place or situation of great suffering in life.
  • n. A place for gambling.
  • n. An extremely hot place.
  • n. Used as an intensifier in phrases grammatically requiring a noun
  • interj. Used to express negative discontent.
  • interj. Used to emphasize

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The place of the dead, or of souls after death; the grave; -- called in Hebrew sheol, and by the Greeks hades.
  • n. The place or state of punishment for the wicked after death; the abode of evil spirits. Hence, any mental torment; anguish.
  • n. A place where outcast persons or things are gathered.
  • n. A dungeon or prison; also, in certain running games, a place to which those who are caught are carried for detention.
  • n. A gambling house.
  • n. A place into which a tailor throws his shreds, or a printer his broken type.
  • transitive v. To overwhelm.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hide; cover.
  • A colloquial contraction of he will.
  • n. The abode of the dead; the place of departed spirits; the grave; the infernal regions, regarded as a place of existence after death: called in Hebrew Sheol, and by the Greeks Hades.
  • n. [In the authorized version of the Bible the word hell occurs 54 times, viz., 31 times in the Old Testament and 23 times in the New. In the Old Testament it translates the Hebrew name Sheol, which is also translated the grave (31 times) and the pit (3 times). In the revised version hell has been retained in the prophetical books, and Sheol substituted for it in the poetical books and passages, except in Deut. xxxii. 22, Ps. lv. 15, and lxxxvi. 13, where it is changed to pit. In both the authorized and the revised version of the New Testament, hell is used 12 times to translate the Greek γέεννα (transliterated gehenna in the Vulgate), while in the authorized version it is used 10 times for the Greek ᾅδης, and once (2 Pet. ii. 4) for ταρταοώσας (Tartarus). In the revised version hell is retained for Tartarus, and Hades has been used for the Greek ᾅδης. See Gehenna, grave, Hades, and Sheol.]
  • n. The abode of devils and condemned spirits; the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the infernal regions, regarded as a place of torment.
  • n. The infernal powers; the powers of darkness and evil.
  • n. Something regarded as resembling hell.
  • n. Specifically— Any place or condition of captivity or torment; any experience of great suffering: as, a hell upon earth; a hell of suspense or suspicion.
  • n. A gaming-house; a gaming-room; a gamblers' den.
  • n. In some games, as barley-brake, the place to which those who are caught are carried.
  • n. A place where things are covered up or hidden; a place of concealment; specifically, a place into which a tailor throws his shreds or his cabbaged stuff, or a printer his broken type.
  • n. Formerly, in England, a place under the exchequer chamber where the king's debtors were confined.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. noisy and unrestrained mischief
  • n. any place of pain and turmoil
  • n. a cause of difficulty and suffering
  • n. (religion) the world of the dead
  • n. (Christianity) the abode of Satan and the forces of evil; where sinners suffer eternal punishment
  • n. violent and excited activity

Etymologies

Middle English helle, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Illustration here.

    May 6, 2010

  • For those who meddle with dynamic link libraries in Windows, there is DLL Hell.

    November 7, 2008

  • "In heaven, there are no debts—all have been paid, one way or another—but in hell there's nothing but debts, and a great deal of payment is exacted, though you can't ever get all paid up. You have to pay, and pay, and keep on paying. Hell is like an infernal maxed-out credit card that multiplies the charges endlessly."
    —Margaret Atwood, "Commentary: Our romance with debt—we'll pay for it later," seen here.

    October 8, 2008

  • "'I'm forty-two. Do you know what I've concluded from my life until now? Hell: It's not a place. Hell is transportable. All of us carry it around with us. It opens up and stays with us from the moment we lose contact with our own natural sympathy.'"
    - 'The Quiet Girl', Peter Høeg.

    March 19, 2008

  • '"Every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind- is, in the end, Hell."' -The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis

    February 20, 2008

  • "Hell, Grand Cayman is a group of short, black, limestone formations in the northwest Grand Cayman town of West Bay." - Wikipedia.

    Other locales with the name Hell are in Michigan and Norway, while Hell Creek is in Montana and Hell's Kitchen is in New York, both USA.

    January 1, 2008

  • "There must be a Hell. There must be a place for the demons; a place for the damned. Hell is Heaven's reflection. It is Heaven's shadow. They define each other. Reward and Punishment; hope and despair. There must be a Hell, for without Hell, Heaven has no meaning." - The Angel Remiel

    November 11, 2007

  • Maybe this world is another planet's hell. - Aldous Huxley

    October 19, 2007

  • In the afterlife, you'll be headed for some serious strife, now you make the sceen all day, tomarrow there'll be hell to pay

    December 6, 2006