Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

hell - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
Close
What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close
ThesaurusThesaurus
Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun [uncountable]     hell pronunciation in American English
/hel/
  1. 1

    Hell

    in some religions, the place where bad people are sent to suffer for ever when they die. The place where good people are believed to go is called Heaven.
  2. 2
    a situation that is extremely unpleasant

    It’s been hell trying to keep this secret for so long.

    absolute/pure/sheer/utter hell:

    For a sensitive child this ridicule can be sheer hell.

    go through hell:

    She’s been going through hell since her husband died.

    a living hell (=a very frightening or upsetting experience):

    The past few days have been a living hell for both of us.

    put someone through hell:

    He’s put us all through hell in the last few weeks.

  3. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    3
    the hell used to forcefully emphasise a point you are making

    Leave Heidi the hell alone!

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 25/03/2016
BuzzWord

moonbow

a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play