An inferno is a huge fire that's difficult to control, like an inferno that burns down a whole city block. Inferno also can describe any horrible place where people suffer.

The Latin word infernus means "of the lower regions." Using inferno to mean "hell" is credited to medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri. Dante's epic poem the Divine Comedy contains one part titled The Inferno, which tells of a journey through the nine circles of hell full of torture, pain, and imagery of red — flames, boiling blood, and so on.

Definitions of inferno
  1. noun
    a very intense and uncontrolled fire
    synonyms: conflagration
    see moresee less
    a raging and rapidly spreading conflagration
    type of:
    the event of something burning (often destructive)
  2. noun
    any place of pain and turmoil
    “the inferno of the engine room”
    synonyms: hell, hell on earth, hellhole, snake pit, the pits
    see moresee less
    type of:
    part, region
    the extended spatial location of something
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week