1 /hel/ noun
1 UNPLEASANT SITUATION (singular, uncountable) informal a situation, experience, or place that is very unpleasant: Central London was hell the Saturday before Christmas. | sheer hell (=extremely unpleasant): “How was your exam?” “Sheer hell!” | hell on earth: This town is my idea of hell on earth.
2 SUFFERING a place or situation in which people suffer very much, either physically or emotionally: the hell of the battlefield | make sb's life hell: He'll make my life hell if I don't do what he wants. | living hell: Josh felt trapped in a living hell.
3 WHEN YOU DIE also Hell (singular) the place where the souls of bad people are believed to be punished after death, especially in the Christian and Muslim religions
4 how/what/where etc the hell? spoken used to show that you are very surprised or angry: What the hell does he think he's doing? | Where the hell have you been?
5 a/one hell of a spoken used to emphasize the idea that something is very big, very good, very bad etc: He's one hell of a good actor. | a hell of a lot of money | have one hell of a time: We had one hell of a time trying to get here.
6 go to hell! spoken used to tell someone that you do not care about them or about what they think: If John doesn't like it, he can go to hell!
7 feel/look like hell spoken to feel or look very ill or tired: I've been feeling like hell all week.
8 beat/irritate/scare etc the hell out of sb informal to beat, irritate etc someone very much
9 (just) for the hell of it spoken for no serious reason, or only for fun: We decided to go for a midnight swim, just for the hell of it.
10 what the hell! spoken used to say that you will do something and not worry about any problems it causes: What the hell, let's go with them.
11 to hell with spoken used to say that you do not care about something any more: To hell with school! I'm going to leave and get a job.
12 run/work/hurt etc like hell informal to run, work etc very quickly or very much: We ran like hell and didn't stop until we were safely home.
13 like hell/the hell spoken used to say that you do not believe what someone has said, or that you disagree with it: “Like hell you'd pay it back”, Wade said wearily.
14 from hell informal the worst you can imagine: It was disaster after disaster - the holiday from hell!
15 mad/weird/ugly etc as hell especially AmE spoken very angry, strange etc: I wouldn't ask him now, he's mad as hell.
16 give sb hell informal to blame someone angrily: My dad gave me hell when he found out that I'd borrowed the car.
17 get the hell out (of somewhere) informal to leave a place quickly and suddenly: Let's get the hell out of here!
18 there'll be hell to pay spoken used to say that people will be very angry: There'll be hell to pay when the boss finds out.
19 catch hell AmE spoken to be blamed or punished: You'll catch hell when your Mom comes home!
20 all hell broke loose informal used to say that people suddenly become very noisy or angry: The rival gang arrived and all hell broke loose.
21 hell's bells spoken also hell's teeth BrE used to express great annoyance or surprise
22 come hell or high water informal in spite of any problems or difficulties: I decided I would get the job done by Friday, come hell or high water.
23 go to hell in a handbasket AmE informal if a system or organization has gone to hell in a handbasket, it has stopped working properly: The education system in this state has gone to hell in a handbasket.
24 run/go hell for leather informal to run away as fast as possible
25 hell on wheels AmE informal someone who does exactly what they want and does not care what happens as a result.
26 play (merry) hell with informal to make something stop working or happening as it should: The cold weather played hell with the weekend sports schedule.
27 when hell freezes over informal used to say that something will never happen
—see also: not a hope in hell hope 2 (5) 2 interjection
1 especially BrE used to express anger or annoyance: Oh hell! I've left my purse at home.
2 AmE used to emphasize something you are saying: Hell, I don't know!

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • hell — like, adj. /hel/, n. 1. the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the abode of evil and condemned spirits; Gehenna or Tartarus. 2. any place or state of torment or misery: They made their father s life a hell on earth. 3.… …   Universalium

  • Hell — • Hell (infernus) in theological usage is a place of punishment after death Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. hell     Hell     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Hell — steht für leuchtstark, siehe Helligkeit farbstark, siehe Farbhelligkeit pastellfarben Hell steht für: Orte: Hell (Kalifornien) Hell (Michigan) Hell (Norwegen) Hell (Gelderland) Filme: Hell (2011), deutscher Spielfilm von Tim Fehlbaum Hell –… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • hell — (hĕl) n. 1. Christianity a) often Hell The place of eternal punishment for the wicked after death, often imagined as being presided over by Satan and his devils. b) A state of separation from God; exclusion from God s presence. 2. The abode of… …   Word Histories

  • hell — ► NOUN 1) a place regarded in various religions as a spiritual realm of evil and suffering, often depicted as a place of perpetual fire beneath the earth to which the wicked are sent after death. 2) a state or place of great suffering. ►… …   English terms dictionary


  • hell — [hel] n. [ME helle < OE hel (akin to Ger hölle, hell & ON Hel, the underworld goddess, HEL) < base of helan, to cover, hide < IE base * k̑el , to hide, cover up > L celare, to hide] 1. [often H ] Bible the place where the spirits of… …   English World dictionary

  • hell — hell; hell·ben·der; hell·flö·te; hell·gram·mite; hell·ward; in·hell; rake·hell·ish; hell·ish; rake·hell; hell·gra·mite; hell·ish·ly; hell·ish·ness; …   English syllables

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