Meaning of “hell” in the English Dictionary

"hell" in British English

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hellnoun

uk /hel/ us /hel/

B2 [ S or U ] an extremely unpleasant or difficult place, situation, or experience:

Work is sheer hell at the moment.
The last few months have been absolute hell.

B2 [ S ] also Hell in some religions, the place where some people are believed to go after death to be punished for ever for the bad things they have done during their lives:

I'll go to Hell for this.
make sb's life hell also make life hell for sb informal

to cause a lot of problems for someone and make them very unhappy:

I worked for her for two years and she made my life hell.

More examples

  • Living with her has been pure hell recently.
  • I'd see her in hell before I'd agree to an arrangement like that.
  • It was a living hell for the soldiers out there on the front line.
  • " Didn't you enjoy teaching, then?" "No, it was sheer hell - I'd never be a teacher."
  • She had to suffer the hell of giving birth to her dead baby.

hellexclamation, noun [ U ]

uk /hel/ us /hel/

he'll

uk /hiːl/ us /hiːl/

short form of he will:

He'll be there, don't worry.

More examples

  • I daren't tell Dad - he'll be so angry.
  • Gideon is very reliable - if he says he'll do something, he'll do it.
  • He's been single for so long now, I don't think he'll ever marry.
  • Simon isn't sure whether he'll be able to come to the party or not.
  • The boss phoned to say he'll be back at 4.30.

(Definition of “hell” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"hell" in American English

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hellnoun [ U ]

us /hel/

hell noun [ U ] (PLACE)

(in some religions) the place where some people are believed to go after death to be punished forever for the bad things they have done

hell noun [ U ] (CONDITION)

an extremely unpleasant or difficult place, situation, or experience:

Holidays are hell for me.
We went through hell during the flood (= had an extremely bad experience).

hellexclamation

us /hel/ slang

hell exclamation (EXPRESSION)

used to express anger, or to give emphasis to an expression:

Oh hell, I forgot my keys!
Her dad was mad as hell.
Note: This may be considered offensive by some people.

he’ll

us /hil, il/

contraction of he will or he shall:

I’m sure he’ll help you if he can.

(Definition of “hell” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)