Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[in-fur-noh; for 3 also Italian een-fer-naw] /ɪnˈfɜr noʊ; for 3 also Italian inˈfɛr nɔ/
noun, plural infernos.
hell; the infernal regions.
a place or region that resembles hell:
The ironworks was an inferno of molten steel and half-naked bodies.
(initial capital letter, italics) the first part of Dante's Divine Comedy, depicting hell and the suffering of the damned.
Compare paradise (def 7), purgatory (def 2).
Origin of inferno
1825-35; < Italian < Late Latin infernus hell, noun use of Latin infernus; see infernal
2. furnace, hellhole, oven. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for inferno
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At twelve-ten plus forty-five seconds, he and his platoon were to "go over the top" and plunge into the inferno of No Man's Land.

    Time Telling through the Ages Harry Chase Brearley
  • So, she went through the inferno of days and nights in a dreariness of suffering that was deadly.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • During all the summer and fall of 1976 China was an inferno.

  • And here, in this inferno of luggage, was White Fang deserted by the master.

    White Fang Jack London
  • The approximate date of the next play, the Auto da Barca do inferno, is certain.

British Dictionary definitions for inferno


noun (pl) -nos
(sometimes capital) the inferno, hell; the infernal region
any place or state resembling hell, esp a conflagration
Word Origin
C19: from Italian, from Late Latin infernus hell
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for inferno

1834, from Italian inferno, from Latin infernus (see infernal).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
inferno in Culture

Inferno definition

The first section of The Divine Comedy, by Dante. Inferno is the Italian word for “hell.”

Note: By extension, an “inferno” is a hot and terrible place or condition.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for inferno

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for inferno

Scrabble Words With Friends