like a bat out of hell

Slang Dictionary

like a bat out of hell definition


  1. mod.
    very fast or sudden. (Use caution with hell.) : The cat took off like a bat out of hell.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

like a bat out of hell

Moving extremely fast, as in She ran down the street like a bat out of hell. This expression presumably alludes to the rapid darting movement of bats and, Charles Earle Funk theorized, their avoidance of such light as might be cast by the fires of hell. [c. 1900] For a synonym, see like greased lightning.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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