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[hel-ish] /ˈhɛl ɪʃ/
of, like, or suitable to hell; infernal; vile; horrible:
It was a hellish war.
miserable; abominable; execrable:
We had a hellish time getting through traffic.
devilishly bad:
The child's behavior was hellish most of the day.
Origin of hellish
1520-30; hell + -ish1
Related forms
hellishly, adverb
hellishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hellish
  • Pan heats metals up to temps so hellish that they turn into vapor.
  • Our atmosphere is constantly leaking into space and has to be replenished from the hellish depths of our home planet.
  • Perhaps you should contact them and find out how heavenly or hellish the place is.
  • Remember, this is a state that has lived through forty plus years of hellish oppression.
  • We couldn't live without it, yet its noise can make life hellish for those in neighborhoods near airports.
  • In a chilling autobiography a former gang member portrays himself as the inevitable product of a hellish environment.
  • He thought it probable that given moral breakdown, the same hellish desires would replicate and repeat themselves.
  • Moments later the music stops as abruptly as it began, and the hellish vision vanishes.
  • He was caught the next day, and soon found himself in a hellish prison camp.
  • His family was being put through a hellish experience.
British Dictionary definitions for hellish


of or resembling hell
wicked; cruel
(informal) very difficult or unpleasant
(Brit, informal) (intensifier): a hellish good idea
Derived Forms
hellishly, adverb
hellishness, noun
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 hellish

1520s, from hell + -ish. Related: Hellishly; hellishness. Earlier in same sense were helli "helly" (late 12c.); hellen "hellish, infernal" (c.1200), with -en (2); and Old English hellic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hellish


  1. Very; extremely: hellish expensive
  2. Unpleasant; deplorable: hellish noise coming from the vacuum

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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