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[hel-fahyuh r] /ˈhɛlˌfaɪər/

the fire of hell.
punishment in hell.
(initial capital letter) Military. a laser-guided U.S. Army antiarmor missile designed for launch from a helicopter.
the torment and punishment of hell, envisaged as eternal fire
(modifier) characterizing sermons or preachers that emphasize this aspect of Christian belief: hellfire evangelism

also hell fire, from Old English hellefyr, in which helle is the genitive case of hell. It translates Greek gehenna tou pyros, literally “fiery hell.” Also used in Middle English for “erysipelas” (mid-15c.).


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  • Hell-fired

    [hel-fahyuh rd] /ˈhɛlˈfaɪərd/ adjective, adverb, Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. 1. . adj. a euphemism for damned attested from 1756. See hellfire.

  • Hell-for-leather

    [hel-fer-leth -er] /ˈhɛl fərˈlɛð ər/ Informal. adjective 1. characterized by reckless determination or breakneck speed: The sheriff led the posse in a hell-for-leather chase. adverb 2. in a hell-for-leather manner; hellbent: motorcycles roaring hell-for-leather down the turnpike. adverb Rapidly and energetically; all-out, flat out: Frank and Pat had gone hell-for-leather over this territory [1889+; origin […]

  • Hell-gate

    noun 1. a narrow channel in the East River, in New York City.

  • 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

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