the hell



the hell (not comparable)

  1. (mildly vulgar) Used to indicate emphatic rejection of an assertion or request.
    Synonyms: like hell, the hell you say, (postpositional) hell
    A: I can run faster than a horse.
    B: The hell you can!
    • 1990, Stephen King, The Moving Finger
      'You stay here, sir,' O'Bannion instructed.
      'The hell I will,' Feeney said.
  2. (mildly vulgar) Expletive used for emphasis after an interrogative term or relative pronoun.
    • 2009 February 19, Gareth Lewis, Southern Daily Echo[1]:
      “Whoever the hell is running the place now has made a terrible mess of it,” he said... “Not in the sense that it looks different, or that it isn't pretty much permanently full. It's just that the food as gone utterly down the khazi.”
    What the hell was that?
    Synonyms: See Thesaurus:the dickens



the hell

  1. (mildly vulgar) Ellipsis of what the hell: an exclamation indicating surprise or dismay.
    • 2013, Jonathan Latimer, The Lady in the Morgue[2], →ISBN:
      “She said she had a date later!”
      The hell!” exclaimed Crane.


the hell

  1. (mildly vulgar, slang, interrogative) Ellipsis of what the hell: what.
    The hell is that?