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

  • noun Loss of the soul; eternal damnation.
  • noun Hell.
  • noun Utter ruin.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Entire ruin; utter destruction.
  • noun The condition of the lost; the future state of the wicked; hell.
  • noun Loss or diminution.

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

  • noun Entire loss; utter destruction; ruin; esp., the utter loss of the soul, or of final happiness in a future state; future misery or eternal death.
  • noun obsolete Loss of diminution.

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

  • noun Eternal damnation.
  • noun Hell.
  • noun Absolute ruin.

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


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

[Middle English perdicion, from Old French, from Late Latin perditiō, perditiōn-, from Latin perditus, past participle of perdere, to lose : per-, per- + dare, to give; see dō- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French perdiciun, from Late Latin perditio, from Latin perdo ("I destroy (the soul)").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word perdition.


  • The bottomless pit of perdition is going to be SRO.

    Think Progress » First same-sex couple weds in D.C. 2010

  • Good intentions when I first had the babies but we all know what the road to perdition is paved with.

    The Gift | Her Bad Mother 2006

  • "I wish that it, and all its men and women, were in perdition!" returned De Valence, in a fierce tone.

    The Scottish Chiefs 1875

  • As "drawing back unto perdition" is merely the palpable evidence of the want of "root" from the first in the Christian profession (Lu 8: 13), so "enduring to the end" is just the proper evidence of its reality and solidity.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible 1871

  • Even if we were permitted to converse with the lost in perdition,

    The Value of the Soul. E. S. Taylor 1865

  • What are all the comforts of the home of Dives, if they end in perdition?

    Three Discourses 1865

  • All the blame of Israel's ruin laid upon themselves: O Israel! thy perdition is thence; it is of and from thyself; or, It has destroyed thee, O Israel! that is, all that sin and folly of thine which thou art before charged with.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi) 1721

  • Godliness with contentment is great gain/those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare/into foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in perdition.

    CANTICLES • by K.C. Ball 2009

  • In twilight, in perdition's lean and inauspicious loam).

    Second April 1921

  • Of the meaning of death in the future, or what is known as perdition, we have no call here to speak.

    Christian Doctrine of Sin 1823-1886 1876


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The road to here is paved with good intentions.

    May 20, 2007

  • As in "awaiting perdition"

    March 31, 2008

  • Archaic, utter ruin.

    December 7, 2008

  • Word is used in Chapter IX of "Topper" by Thorne Smith.

    March 21, 2015

  • "Humans are therefore faced with an invidious choice once they learn about Roko’s Basilisk: they can help to build the superintelligence, or face painful and unending perdition at the hands of a future, ultra-rational AI."

    Source: The most avid believers in artificial intelligence are aggressively secular – yet their language is eerily religious. Why?

    January 22, 2018