Definitions

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

  • noun A place or condition suggestive of hell, especially with respect to human suffering or death.
  • noun A place of fiery heat or destruction.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Hell; the infernal regions.

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

  • noun The infernal regions; hell.
  • noun A raging fire.

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

  • noun Hell-like place or situation.
  • noun A large fire, a conflagration (Wikipedia)

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

  • noun (Christianity) the abode of Satan and the forces of evil; where sinners suffer eternal punishment
  • noun any place of pain and turmoil
  • noun a very intense and uncontrolled fire

Etymologies

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

[Italian, hell, from Late Latin īnfernus; see infernal.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian inferno ("hell"), from Latin infernus ("of the lower regions"), inferna ("the lower regions"); see infernal.

Examples

  • No one told the workers on the 9th floor, who were trapped behind locked doors in what can only be described as an inferno.

    Richard Greenwald: Lessons from History

  • You could see one of the worst qualities of life on the planet, but in this inferno was an enterprising population that worked like ants.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • You could see one of the worst qualities of life on the planet, but in this inferno was an enterprising population that worked like ants.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • You could see one of the worst qualities of life on the planet, but in this inferno was an enterprising population that worked like ants.

    yalla - French Word-A-Day

  • They say the inferno was a mass suicide orchestrated by Koresh, who had predicted an attack and told followers to be ready to die for him in a fire that would take them all to heaven.

    Surviving Davidians mark tragedy’s

  • MARQUEZ: One Forest Service official calls the inferno a tornado made flames with a will of its own.

    CNN Transcript Oct 30, 2003

  • All that was needed to turn the deck into an inferno was a spark, and Zavala was glad to provide one.

    SERPENT

  • All that was needed to turn the deck into an inferno was a spark, and Zavala was glad to provide one.

    SERPENT

  • Mingled with the desire that raged within him like an inferno was a cold, bitter anger stemming from the knowledge that he would be neither the first nor the last man to possess her.

    MEMORY’S EMBRACE

  • Mingled with the desire that raged within him like an inferno was a cold, bitter anger stemming from the knowledge that he would be neither the first nor the last man to possess her.

    MEMORY’S EMBRACE

Comments

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  • Dante's vision of Hell and environs qualifies as the devil's playground. See Free Association.

    February 5, 2008