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[in-fur-nl] /ɪnˈfɜr nl/
hellish; fiendish; diabolical:
an infernal plot.
extremely troublesome, annoying, etc.; outrageous:
an infernal nuisance.
of, inhabiting, or befitting hell.
Classical Mythology. of or relating to the underworld.
Origin of infernal
1325-75; Middle English < Late Latin infernālis, equivalent to Latin infern(us) situated below, of the underworld (see inferior) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
infernality, noun
infernally, adverb
2. devilish, cursed, monstrous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for infernal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Oh, stop this infernal nonsense, Tony," he said in a tone tinged with alarm.

    The Eddy Clarence L. Cullen
  • The lake by which the ancients entered the infernal regions.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • Whatever you do, don't make me late for that infernal banquet.

    The Tree of Heaven May Sinclair
  • And then—I might at a pinch describe the infernal regions, but not the other place.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • I wish I could be with you, but I'm kept in this infernal place till the beginning of next week.

    The Tysons May Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for infernal


of or relating to an underworld of the dead
deserving hell or befitting its occupants; diabolic; fiendish
(informal) irritating; confounded
Derived Forms
infernality, noun
infernally, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin infernālis, from infernus hell, from Latin (adj): lower, hellish; related to Latin inferus low
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 infernal

late 14c., in reference to the underworld, from Old French enfernal, infernal (12c.), from Late Latin infernalis "of the lower regions," from infernus "hell" (Ambrose), literally "the lower (world)," noun use of Latin infernus "lower, lying beneath," from infra "below" (see infra-). Meaning "devilish, hateful" is from early 15c. For the name of the place, or things which resemble it, the Italian form inferno has been used in English since 1834, from Dante. Related: Infernally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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