Definition of netherworld in English:



  • 1The underworld; hell.

    ‘their souls were forever doomed to wander aimlessly in the netherworld’
    • ‘He felt like Orpheus emerging from the netherworld - that is, he would have, if Orpheus hadn't been such a depressed harp-strumming sot with a snake problem.’
    • ‘There are various dimensions and levels in the netherworld for demons, just as there are for humans.’
    • ‘But the alternative is to be responsible for a baby spirit wandering aimless and alone through the netherworld.’
    • ‘Hunt himself described a cave near the site of his painting as the ‘cavern of Dis’ and thought of the ‘Stygian lake,’ evidence that he identified the region with the netherworld.’
    • ‘Was this the long passageway that led to the netherworld?’
    • ‘The game's protagonist, Laharl, a self-absorbed demon who also happens to be prince to the throne of the netherworld, is as unlikely a ‘hero’ as one could expect.’
    • ‘His wealthy counterpart, however, is tormented in the netherworld.’
    • ‘Foul devil of the netherworld, you wish me to come near you so as to wrestle my weapons away.’
    • ‘If the steps are not followed perfectly there is a good chance that the one you attempted to resurrect will be banished to the netherworld.’
    • ‘Chrono, her demonic familiar, is filled with firsthand knowledge of the armies of the netherworld, and this could provide the Order with the necessary edge.’
    • ‘But as the Queen disappeared into the netherworld, she uttered a curse on the stud's lineage’
    • ‘Rachel has moved her son Aiden to a small coastal town in pursuit of the quiet life and television sets that aren't passageways to the netherworld.’
    • ‘‘You have been summoned from the netherworld,’ said the first judge.’
    • ‘Gently ironic, Laib has created a feast for the senses in the guise of an enclosure for death, a theme that he reiterates in his rows of beeswax boats on their silent journey to the netherworld.’
    • ‘Tiamat is our prime adversary, the Black Angel who was defeated and cast into the netherworld by Aikido, the founding member of the Society.’
    • ‘The large sculptural frieze is an attempt to portray a stringent penance witnessed both by heavenly hosts and the denizens of the netherworld.’
    • ‘But he has lay dormant in the netherworld for centuries, beyond human's knowledge, but this about to change.’
    • ‘‘If you should know, I did not know that Zeus would care enough about the netherworld,’ Hades confessed.’
    • ‘Like Eliot, she draws on Dantean imagery to suggest the netherworld.’
    • ‘‘You're going to the netherworld, fiend.’’
    • ‘I was unable to banish it back to the netherworld, but I was resolved to do something.’
    • ‘The last thing anyone wants is for some bozo scientist to accidentally open a gateway to the netherworld, subsequently causing our reality to be overrun by demonic monstrosities.’
    • ‘The local Indians, the Chumash, had a legend of something that translates roughly to ‘mouth of hell’ - a place where demons emerge from the netherworld and walk the earth.’
    • ‘Trapped in a car, I watched in absolute helplessness, (the sort I hope which only exists in nightmares) as this beast of the netherworld repeatedly launched itself at the windshield with great force.’
    • ‘The visual effects look more than a little cheap (the shots of the vistas in the netherworld contain some of the hoariest horizons this side of Damnation Alley), but I can live with that.’
    • ‘For Ancient Hebrews, the dead went to a netherworld called sheol that was a pale shadow of this life.’
    • ‘Adelle becomes convinced that, against all odds Sarah is still alive, trapped in the netherworld, waiting to be rescued…’
    • ‘In Mortal Coils, an interaction of oneiromancy and mediumism was embodied in multiple projections among slowly twisting ropes, as if something were dimly viewed while transpiring underwater or in a netherworld.’
    • ‘The Norse Eddas sing of the great ash tree Yggdrasil on whose trunk the heavens spin and whose roots clutch the netherworld.’
    • ‘Eason Chan plays a modern hairdresser who meets the sexy and mysterious Shu, who claims she can see the netherworld with one of her eyes.’
    hell, the underworld, the infernal regions, the nether regions, the abyss, the land of the dead
    the abode of the damned, eternal damnation, perdition
    gehenna, tophet, abaddon
    hades, tartarus, acheron
    the other place
    the pit
    the lower world
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A hidden or illicit area of activity.
      ‘the narcotic netherworld thriving in post-war America’
      • ‘There began his journey into the netherworld of the Feds and the harsh realities of prison basketball.’
      • ‘As the dollar completes its inevitable descent into the netherworld of official shenanigans, you and I are left to try and figure out what we can do to protect what we have worked for all of our lives.’
      • ‘His adoption of a soldier's guise gives the usually scrubbed detective a much grungier look, making him seem less an interloper than an authentic member of the poverty-choked netherworld he's infiltrating in his search for the gun.’
      • ‘The work is more of a textural tone poem - and a rather heavy-handed one at that - spending most of its time in a noisy netherworld of guitars, electronics, and occasional contrabass saxophone.’
      • ‘We suspected there was a netherworld of corrupt activity.’
      • ‘Instead of an honourable retirement, Louis was swallowed up by the sharks circling the boxing business, and gradually pulled into the netherworld of drugs, drink, violence and the mob.’
      • ‘The answer may lie in the netherworld of Kremlin politics.’
      • ‘The alternative is to slog through the netherworld of campus politics, dodging rhetoric and corruption, lobbying and protesting and generally avoiding any reasoned discussion of the subject.’
      • ‘The Oklahoma bombing of 1995, which killed more than 160 people, emerged out of a netherworld of shadowy right-wing militias that grew up during the Eighties and early Nineties.’
      • ‘The autumn trek between the Firth and Babbage rivers will find this Arctic netherworld in its glory with aurora borealis, char running rivers, ripe blueberries, and the migrating Porcupine Caribou Herd.’
      • ‘Yet, and only, because both are set in the free-market talent jungle of New York's artistic netherworld, Moon bears a cursory resemblance to Another Country, Baldwin's justly celebrated New York novel.’
      • ‘The Pixies had already crossed over into the murky netherworld of alt-rock ‘legend’ status long before releasing their final album, Trompe Le Monde, in 1991.’
      • ‘In the mid-1950s, Kim began a prolific career as a writer-director toiling in the netherworld of Korean commercial cinema.’
      • ‘A few others, finally, have been drawn into the netherworld of off-stage intrigue and parapolitical violence.’
      • ‘In most instances I think we'd find that a combination of factors led these children to descend into the netherworld of crime.’
      • ‘Most are in a netherworld where media coverage is cursory and interest groups' pressure determines the outcome.’
      • ‘All these touches seem as woefully accurate as they always did, set against that banal English netherworld of market towns and motorway service stations.’
      • ‘‘Trafficking was in a kind of netherworld,’ he says.’
      • ‘They must also challenge young blacks to do more to stop aiding and abetting their own shove to the netherworld of the American economy by reinforcing the destructive stereotypes about themselves.’
      • ‘If astrologers skulk around in the netherworld of ‘not worthy’ or undervalue their own personal abilities to offer a professional service to people, then nothing changes.’
    2. 1.2An ill-defined area of activity.
      ‘that cinematic netherworld between the multiplexes and the video stores’
      • ‘Somehow, it exists in the netherworld between these two points, an amorphous mixture of intellectualism and juvenile pranks.’
      • ‘Sounds just below whispers rustled in the netherworld between imagination and hallucination.’
      • ‘It rests in the netherworld somewhere between both genres, and a twisted palate is necessary to enjoy it.’
      • ‘Forget the synthetic decadence of the Bravery - the real star of New York's sexually ambiguous netherworld is this male modern answer to Nina Simone.’
      • ‘The role of priest and artist is often interchangeable, as the netherworld they inhabit, between spirit and material, is enlightened by dream and imagination.’
      • ‘What enraged and confused the censors was the film's approach to that strange netherworld between dreaming and waking states, in which so much unusual activity transpires.’
      • ‘In some respects, Canada lives in a bizarre netherworld between the U.S. and Britain (and now, Hong Kong, China, India, etc.).’