Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The place of eternal punishment for the wicked after death, often imagined as being presided over by Satan and his devils.
  • noun A state of separation from God; exclusion from God's presence.
  • noun The abode of the dead in any of various religious traditions, such as the Hebrew Sheol or the Greek Hades; the underworld.
  • noun A situation or place of evil, misery, discord, or destruction.
  • noun An extremely difficult experience; torment or anguish.
  • noun The spirits in hell or the powers of evil.
  • noun Informal One that causes trouble, agony, or annoyance.
  • noun A sharp scolding.
  • noun A tailor's receptacle for discarded material.
  • noun Printing A hellbox.
  • noun An outstanding or noteworthy example.
  • noun Used as an intensive.
  • noun Archaic A gambling house.
  • intransitive verb To behave riotously; carouse.
  • interjection Used to express anger, disgust, or impatience.
  • idiom (for the hell of it) For no particular reason; on a whim.
  • idiom (hell on) Damaging or destructive to.
  • idiom (hell on) Unpleasant to or painful for.
  • idiom (or/and) Troubles or difficulties of whatever magnitude.
  • idiom (hell to pay) Great trouble.
  • idiom (like hell) Used as an intensive.
  • idiom (like hell) Used to express strong contradiction or refusal.
  • idiom (to hell and gone) A long distance away.
  • idiom (to hell and gone) Far and wide.
  • idiom (to hell and gone) Into the next world.
  • idiom (to hell with) Used to express contempt for or dismissal of someone or something.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hide; cover.
  • A colloquial contraction of he will.
  • noun 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.
  • noun [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.]
  • noun 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.
  • noun The infernal powers; the powers of darkness and evil.
  • noun Something regarded as resembling hell.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A gaming-house; a gaming-room; a gamblers' den.
  • noun In some games, as barley-brake, the place to which those who are caught are carried.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Formerly, in England, a place under the exchequer chamber where the king's debtors were confined.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English helle, from Old English; see kel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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  • 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

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

    October 19, 2007

  • "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

  • "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

  • '"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

  • "'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

  • "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

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

    November 7, 2008

  • Illustration here.

    May 6, 2010