netherworld

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See also: nether world

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From nether- (beneath, lower) +‎ world.

Noun[edit]

netherworld (plural netherworlds)

  1. The place to which one's spirit descends upon death, conceived as below the surface of the earth.
    In some religions, one's soul departs to a netherworld, hell, instead of the heavens.
  2. The locale of the spirit world or afterlife, whether deemed to be situated below the world of the living or not.
    While I was astrally projecting, I felt my soul pass through many insubstantial netherworlds.
  3. Specifically, a location of punishment in the afterlife; a hell.
    The missionary was motivated by a sincere desire to rescue souls from eternal torment in the netherworld.
  4. (by extension) A hidden, shadowy, or sinister subculture, such as that of organized crime.
    Richard had been initiated into the netherworld of dog racing by his father, and knew all the popular greyhound performance-enhancing drugs.

Usage notes[edit]

Depending on cultural context, it may be appropriate to construct this as the netherworld, if only one is supposed to exist.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]