Definition of like hell in US English:

like hell


  • 1Very fast, much, hard, etc. (used for emphasis)

    ‘it hurts like hell’
    • ‘Believe me there will be a time when you miss it like hell!’
    • ‘Either way, you pay in full, and yes, it invariably hurts like hell.’
    • ‘‘But we all come to work like hell for a few years and then take our money home to Poland,’ he said.’
    • ‘My legs hurt like hell though - was it the dog, or the cycling?’
    • ‘You kick 'em in the spine when they're not looking and run like hell.’
    • ‘He runs like hell, shelters between a television news van and a car, and covers his nose and mouth with his T-shirt.’
    • ‘All I know is that my mouth hurts like hell and I've about as much chance of getting in to see my dentist this week as I have getting into a size 10 dress.’
    • ‘What I may end up doing is trying to get to work really early, then leaving work early and hoping like hell I get there before she leaves.’
    • ‘I moved to this flat from the house opposite and we moved by standing on one side of the main road with a wardrobe, waiting for a gap in the traffic, and then running like hell.’
    • ‘Either way, it hurts like hell on my right side when I breathe in.’
    • ‘I grabbed a spade and frantically dug a hole in the garden, hoping like hell my flatmate wouldn't turn up during the process.’
    • ‘He'd been granted a purpose and was trying like hell to set a good example.’
    • ‘Two bites on my arm have come up and they itch like hell.’
    • ‘It really is a magnificent bruise and I have no doubt it hurts like hell.’
    • ‘One witness described Jackson as ‘fighting like hell with the steering wheel’ as he drove along at speed.’
    • ‘She's alive, and she's fighting like hell to live, and she's begging for help.’
    • ‘I mean, we've had moments in which we've sweated like hell, but the end result has been astonishingly good.’
    • ‘I didn't really think about it much as I grew up, unless I bashed my hand against something then the tiny scar hurt like hell.’
    • ‘The story wouldn't be about winners, and winning, it would be about losers fighting like hell to avoid another loss.’
    • ‘I can't blame them if they do decide to leave, but I can't say I won't resent it like hell.’
  • 2Used in ironic expressions of scorn or disagreement.

    ‘like hell, he thought’
    • ‘Yeah, like hell it is.’
    • ‘Like hell he was going to let her win this easily, he thought angrily.’
    • ‘"Like hell you are," I tell him.’