Definitions

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

  • adjective Of or relating to a lower world of the dead.
  • adjective Of or relating to hell.
  • adjective Fiendish; diabolical.
  • adjective Abominable; awful.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to the lower regions, or regions of the dead, the Tartarus of the ancients.
  • Pertaining to or resembling hell; inhabiting hell; suitable or appropriate to hell or its inhabitants; hellish; fiendish; diabolical: as, infernal cruelty.
  • Devilish, satanic, fiendlike, nefarious.
  • noun An inhabitant of hell or of the lower regions.
  • noun A person or thing of an infernal character in any sense, or of supposed infernal appearance: specifically applied to a fire-ship, torpedo, infernal machine, or the like.

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

  • noun obsolete An inhabitant of the infernal regions; also, the place itself.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to or suitable for the lower regions, inhabited, according to the ancients, by the dead; pertaining to Pluto's realm of the dead, the Tartarus of the ancients.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to, resembling, or inhabiting, hell; suitable for hell, or to the character of the inhabitants of hell; hellish; diabolical.
  • adjective a machine or apparatus maliciously designed to explode, and destroy life or property.
  • adjective (lapis infernalis), lunar caustic; formerly so called. The name was also applied to caustic potash.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or relating to hell, or the world of the dead; hellish.
  • adjective by extension Of or relating to a fire or inferno.
  • adjective Stygian, gloomy.
  • adjective Diabolical or fiendish.
  • adjective UK, as an expletive Very annoying; damned.
  • noun obsolete An inhabitant of the infernal regions.

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

  • adjective extremely evil or cruel; expressive of cruelty or befitting hell
  • noun an inhabitant of Hell
  • adjective of or pertaining to or characteristic of a very uncontrolled and intense fire
  • adjective expletives used informally as intensifiers
  • adjective being of the underworld
  • adjective characteristic of or resembling Hell

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin īnfernālis, from īnfernus, hell, from Latin, lower, underground; see n̥dher- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English, from Old French, from Late Latin infernalis, from infernus ("hell")

Examples

  • His experience and training with the Mounted Police made it difficult for him to accept with equal mind what he called the infernal cheek of a bunch of Indians.

    The Patrol of the Sun Dance Trail

  • Her books contain infernal hints, Christological echoes, centaurs, phoenixes, house-elves and Moaning Myrtle — a postmodern superfluity of myth and invention into which she dips and dips and keeps on dipping, because it will never be exhausted, and it will never quite add up.

    Sex and the Single Wizard

  • Her books contain infernal hints, Christological echoes, centaurs, phoenixes, house-elves and Moaning Myrtle — a postmodern superfluity of myth and invention into which she dips and dips and keeps on dipping, because it will never be exhausted, and it will never quite add up.

    Sex and the Single Wizard

  • Perhaps infernal is the perfect word; perhaps, after all, we are living in a species of Hell.

    Magical Thinking

  • Perhaps infernal is the perfect word; perhaps, after all, we are living in a species of Hell.

    Archive 2007-04-01

  • Turreau proposed a series of columns, which became known as the infernal or hell columns, to sweep through the area.

    Bloodlust

  • Turreau proposed a series of columns, which became known as the infernal or hell columns, to sweep through the area.

    Bloodlust

  • "Next, a little box containing a sort of stone known as infernal stone.

    Celebrated Crimes (Complete)

  • Pluto was therefore called the infernal Jupiter, and oblations were made to him by the living, for the souls of their friends departed.

    Roman Antiquities, and Ancient Mythology For Classical Schools (2nd ed)

  • It must be called infernal, because slavery is a crime against humanity -- so heinous in its spirit, and so barbarous in its manifestations, that none but a devil incarnate, or otherwise, could have been the one to suggest it.

    History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

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