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a lake near Naples, Italy, looked upon in ancient times as an entrance to hell, from whose waters vile-smelling vapors arose, supposedly killing birds flying over it.
a crater lake in S Italy, near Naples and the Tyrrhenian Sea, thought by ancients to be the entrance to the underworld.
Historical Examples

Of which lesson her own history is a part, and her habitation by the Avernus lake.
Ariadne Florentina John Ruskin

Last night we ascended Avernus again, and did the usual guard on the summit.
A Yeoman’s Letters P. T. Ross

There is the Lake of Avernus, with its splendid supply of oysters.
The Letters of Cassiodorus Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)

It has been said with more truth than poetic fancy that the descent to Avernus is easy.
The Loyalist James Francis Barrett

Is it not probable that Avernus, if not corrupted from ἄορνος, is related to iffrin, the Irish inferi?
Notes and Queries, Number 219, January 7, 1854 Various

It should be “facilis descensus Averno,” easy is the descent to Avernus.
The Short-story William Patterson Atkinson

Stover, like Æneas at the gates of Avernus, stood under the awful portals, ruminating uneasily on Butsey’s last remark.
The Varmint Owen Johnson

In safety, as thou desirest, shall he reach the haven of Avernus.
The Aeneid of Virgil Virgil

That visit to Avernus necessitates a stage setting and an interpretation which I will deliberately designate as intensive.
My Recollections Jules Massenet

Decius followed, as he would have followed through the portals of Avernus.
The Lion’s Brood Duffield Osborne

a crater lake in Italy, near Naples: in ancient times regarded as an entrance to hell Latin name Avernus (əˈvɜːnəs)


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