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[hel-fer-leth -er] /ˈhɛl fərˈlɛð ər/ Informal.

characterized by reckless determination or breakneck speed:
The sheriff led the posse in a hell-for-leather chase.
in a hell-for-leather manner; hellbent:
motorcycles roaring hell-for-leather down the turnpike.


Rapidly and energetically; all-out, flat out: Frank and Pat had gone hell-for-leather over this territory

[1889+; origin unknown; perhaps related to British dialect phrases go hell for ladder, hell falladerly, hell faleero, and remaining mysterious even if so, although the leather would then be a very probable case of folk etymology with a vague sense of the leather involved in riding tack]


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  • Hellgrammite

    [hel-gruh-mahyt] /ˈhɛl grəˌmaɪt/ noun 1. the aquatic larva of a dobsonfly, used as bait in fishing. /ˈhɛlɡrəˌmaɪt/ noun 1. (US) the larva of the dobsonfly, about 10 cm long with biting mouthparts: used as bait for bass Also called dobson

  • Hellhound

    [hel-hound] /ˈhɛlˌhaʊnd/ noun 1. a mythical watchdog of hell. 2. a fiendish person. /ˈhɛlˌhaʊnd/ noun 1. a hound of hell 2. a fiend n. also hell-hound, “wicked person;” also “Cerberus,” Old English hellehund; see hell + hound.

  • Hellinger

    [hel-in-jer] /ˈhɛl ɪn dʒər/ noun 1. Mark, 1903–47, U.S. writer and film producer.

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