hell1 S1 W3
the place where the souls of bad people are believed to be punished after death, especially in the Christian and Muslim religions
when you diealso HellRR [uncountable]
a place or situation in which people suffer very much, either physically or emotionally:
War is hell.
My mother made my life hell.
These past few days have been a living hell.
She must have gone through hell every day, the way we teased her about her weight.
pure/absolute/sheer etc hell
They described the war zone as sheer hell.
He says his time in jail was hell on earth.
a situation, experience, or place that is very unpleasant:
unpleasant situation[singular, uncountable] informal
The traffic was hell this morning.
pure/absolute/sheer etc hell
'How was your exam?' 'Sheer hell!'
4 spoken not polite
used to show that you are very surprised or angry:
• How the hell are we going to do that?
5 spoken not polite
used to emphasize the idea that something is very big, very good, very bad etc:
• I've come one hell of a long way to get here.
• Envy like yours is a hell of a good motive for murder.
6 spoken not polite
used when you are very angry with someone:
• If John doesn't like it, he can go to hell!
7 spoken not polite
to feel or look very ill or tired:
• I've been feeling like hell all week.
8 informal not polite
to beat, surprise etc someone very much:
• We have only one aim: to beat the hell out of the opposition.
9 spoken not polite
for no serious reason, or only for fun:
• They shot people just for the hell of it.
10 spoken not polite
used to say that you will do something and not worry about any problems it causes:
• Elaine poured herself a large glass of whisky - what the hell, it was Christmas.
11 spoken not polite
used to say that you do not care about someone or something any more:
• I want to live for the present, and to hell with the consequences.
12 informal not polite
to run, fight etc very quickly or very much:
• My new shoes hurt like hell.
13 spoken not polite
used to say that you do not agree with what someone has said:
• 'You keep out of this, Ma.' 'Like hell I will.'
14 informal not polite
something or someone that is the worst you can imagine:
• She was the flatmate from hell.
• It was the holiday from hell.
15 spoken not polite
very guilty,shy etc:
• If I had your problems, I'd be mad as hell.
16 spoken not polite
used to emphasize that something is true:
• I don't scare easily, but I was sure as hell scared.
17 informal not polite
to treat someone in an unpleasant or angry way:
• She didn't like him, and gave him hell at the slightest opportunity.
18 informal not polite
to leave a place quickly and suddenly:
• Let's get the hell out of here!
19 spoken not polite
used to say that people will be very angry:
• If they find us there'll be hell to pay.
to go through a very difficult situation:
I'd go to hell and back for that boy.
21 informal not polite
used to say that people suddenly become very noisy or angry:
• Journalists woke him with the news and all hell broke loose.
22 informal not polite
in spite of any problems or difficulties:
• I decided I would get the job done by Friday, come hell or high water.
23 American English informal not polite
if a system or organization has gone to hell in a handbasket, it has stopped working well and is now working very badly:
• The education system in this country has gone to hell in a handbasket.
24 spoken old-fashioned also hell's teeth British English
used to express great annoyance or surprise
25 British English informal
to make something stop working or happening as it should:
The cold weather played hell with the weekend sports schedule.
26 informal not polite
to protest strongly and angrily about a situation
27 informal not polite
to run as fast as possible
28 American English informal not polite
someone who does exactly what they want and does not care what happens as a result.
29 informal not polite
used to say that something will never happen
30 American English spoken not polite
to be blamed or punished:
• You'll catch hell when your Mom comes home!