1. The place of the dead, or of souls after death; the grave; called in Hebrew sheol, and by the Greeks hades. "He descended into hell." (Book of Common Prayer) "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." (Ps. Xvi. 10)

2. The place or state of punishment for the wicked after death; the abode of evil spirits. Hence, any mental torment; anguish. "Within him hell." "It is a knell That summons thee to heaven or to hell." (Shak)

3. A place where outcast persons or things are gathered; as: A dungeon or prison; also, in certain running games, a place to which those who are caught are carried for detention.

A gambling house. "A convenient little gambling hell for those who had grown reckless." .

A place into which a tailor throws his shreds, or a printer his broken type. Gates of hell.

See Gate.

Origin: AS. Hell; akin to D. Hel, OHG. Hella, G. Holle, Icel. Hal, Sw. Helfvete, Dan. Helvede, Goth. Halja, and to AS. Helan to conceal. Cf. Hele, Conceal, Cell, Helmet, Hole, Occult.

(01 Mar 1998)

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