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n. Printing
A receptacle for broken or discarded type.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) printing a container for broken type
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the abode of evil and condemned spirits.
2. any place or state of torment or misery: to make someone's life hell.
3. something that causes torment or misery.
4. the powers of evil.
5. the abode of the dead; Sheol or Hades.
6. extreme disorder or confusion; chaos: All hell broke loose.
7. a severe scolding or punishment: to catch hell; to give someone hell.
8. (used in swearing, as an expression of anger, dismissal, disgust, etc., or as an intensive): the hell with it; guilty as hell; a hell of a nice guy; Where the hell were you?
9. a box into which a printer throws discarded type.
10. (used to express irritation, disgust, surprise, etc.)
11. hell around, Slang. to live or act in a wild or dissolute manner.
1. be hell on, Slang.
a. to be unpleasant to or painful for.
b. to be harmful to: These country roads are hell on tires.
2. for the hell of it, Informal. with no purpose other than sheer adventure or fun.
3. hell on wheels, Informal. extremely aggressive, active, or difficult to deal with.
4. hell to pay, very bad results or repercussions.
5. like hell, Informal.
a. with great speed, effort, intensity, etc.: We ran like hell.
b. Also, the hell. (used to emphasize a speaker's denial or disagreement): He says the motor won't break down? Like hell it won't!
6. play hell with, Informal. to injure or disrupt.
7. raise hell, Informal.
a. to indulge in wild celebration.
b. to create an uproar; object violently.
8. till hell freezes over, an impossibly long time; forever.
[before 900; Middle English, Old English hel(l), c. Old High German hell(i)a, Old Norse hel, Gothic halja; akin to Old English helan to cover, hide, and to hull2]


(hil; unstressed il, hɪl, ɪl)
contraction of he will.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Even some of the language of printing carries these sinister connotations: type that is to be melted down and reused is thrown into a container known as a hellbox, and a printer's assistant is traditionally known as a printer's devil.
In general, the Delanty lyric is no longer than twenty lines though the subject matter is broad: poems about Cork, about his father's work as a compositor for Eagle Printing (The Hellbox, 1998), ecological poems that explore the landscapes and wildlife, bird life in particular, of Vermont and Kerry, poems of child birth and fatherhood (The Ship of Birth, 2003), poems of political engagement, a superb poem about baseball ("Tagging the Stealer" from The Blind Stitch, 2001), and a volume of immigrant poetry (American Wake, 1995) are among his subjects.
Obviously, "Hellbox" is an exception, although the intensity of the writing remains at the same high level of the author's previous efforts.