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[per-dish-uh n] /pərˈdɪʃ ən/
a state of final spiritual ruin; loss of the soul; damnation.
the future state of the wicked.
hell (def 1).
utter destruction or ruin.
Obsolete, loss.
Origin of perdition
1300-50; < Latin perditiōn- (stem of perditiō) destruction, equivalent to perdit(us) (past participle of perdere to do in, ruin, lose, equivalent to per- per- + di-, combining form of dare to give + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn -ion; replacing Middle English perdiciun < Old French < Latin, as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perdition
Historical Examples
  • Then he looked back to the judgment-seat and cried, "With this blood, Appius, I devote thee and thy life to perdition."

    Stories From Livy Alfred Church
  • Since she went I know what perdition means; what darkness is.

  • Is it true, that the heathen world are sinking to perdition?

    Thoughts on Missions Sheldon Dibble
  • He resisted, as though I had been forcing him over the brink of perdition.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • The hero and the heroine of his play dance themselves to the brink of perdition.

    Pieces of Hate Heywood Broun
  • To forsake it is to "forsake their own mercy," to "turn back into perdition."

  • It seemed like a mill-stone strung to the neck of the Australian world, and destined to drag it down to perdition.

  • He has led me to perdition—men lost, boat lost, credit lost.

    Red Cap Tales Samuel Rutherford Crockett
  • If so, they will drive all moderate men out of the party and the remainder straight to perdition.

  • I felt myself surrounded as by a pack of fiends, fresh from perdition.

    My Bondage and My Freedom Frederick Douglass
British Dictionary definitions for perdition


  1. final and irrevocable spiritual ruin
  2. this state as one that the wicked are said to be destined to endure for ever
another word for hell
(archaic) utter disaster, ruin, or destruction
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin perditiō ruin, from Latin perdere to lose, from per- (away) + dāre to give
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for perdition

mid-14c., "fact of being lost or destroyed," from Old French perdicion "loss, calamity, perdition" of souls (11c.) and directly from Late Latin perditionem (nominative perditio) "ruin, destruction," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin perdere "do away with, destroy; lose, throw away, squander," from per- "through" (here perhaps with intensive or completive force, "to destruction") + dare "to put" (see date (n.1)). Special theological sense of "condition of damnation, spiritual ruin, state of souls in Hell" (late 14c.) has gradually extinguished the general use of the word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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