The Meaning of Perdition: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of perdition? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word perdition, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word perdition mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Collins Dictionary, the word perdition (pronounced pərˈdɪʃən) is a noun that refers to the loss of the soul to eternal damnation or eternal punishment in Hell. This can also be used in a more general sense to refer to something being in a state of ruin, utter disaster or utter destruction. In Christianity, this word is often used to refer to the nether region of Hell, If one is said to be in perdition, this means that hellfire is sought to rain upon them. Hell is sometimes referred to as eternal perdition, and if someone is consistently doing sinful things it could be said that they are on the road to perdition. Try using this word of the day or other new words in a sentence today!

Many different languages also contain words that mean perdition. You may notice that some of these words look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words that retain the same meaning as well as a similar look and sound between languages. These are often formed when two words or languages have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations for the word perdition is provided by Word Sense.

  • Persian: نفرین ابدی‎ (nefrin-e abadi)
  • Hungarian: örök‎ kárhozat‎
  • Icelandic: glötun‎ (fem.)
  • German: ewige‎ Verdammnis‎ (fem.)
  • Danish: evig‎ fordømmelse‎
  • Portuguese: perdição‎ (fem.)
  • Dutch: eeuwige‎ verdoemenis‎
  • Swedish: evig‎ fördömelse‎
  • Turkish: cehennem‎
  • Bulgarian: ад‎
  • Russian: прокля́тие‎
  • Finnish: kadotus‎
  • Japanese: 劫罰‎ (ごうばつ, gōbatsu)

How can the word perdition be used in a sentence?

The word perdition can be used in many different ways in the English language. This word can be used both literally and figuratively. In this first example, Evan’s mom is furious with him for sneaking out.

Mom: Evan, I don’t know what I am going to do with you. Sneaking out, smoking, drinking. What’s next? Armed robbery?

Evan: Mom, every teenager does it. You act like I’m the only one.

Mom: Every teenager is on the road to perdition? Yeah, right. You sister never behaved this way.

Evan: Maybe she did and you just weren;t aware.

Here, Evan’s mom says that he is on the road to perdition, meaning that his troublesome actions are leading him toward eternal damnation. In the next example, a building has been destroyed in Evan’s town. They walk by on their way to school.

Evan: Whoa, what happened to that little row of buildings?

Friend: They knocked it down to make room for new luxury apartments. Messed up, right?

Evan: Truly. Complete perdition. 

Here, Evan uses the word perdition to describe the wreckage that is on the empty lot. The word perdition is most commonly used to refer to Hell or other forms of eternal damnation and is rarely used to refer to mass destruction, but this is a still a valid form of the word.

What is the origin of the word perdition?

According to Etymonline, the word perdition has been used since the mid-14th century to refer to a condition of damnation, or in a general sense of destruction and ruin. The general sense was popularized by the late 14th century. This word comes from the Old French perdicion meaning loss or calamity, which was used beginning in the 11th century. This comes from the Late Latin perditionem which is the nominative perditio meaning ruin or destruction. This is a noun taken from the past participle of perdere, a verb meaning to do away with or destroy. This comes from the prefix per meaning through and the root dare meaning to give.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word perdition?

There are many different words that can be used in place of the word perdition. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are very useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself as well as if you are looking to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word perdition is provided by Thesaurus.

  • purgatory
  • misery
  • limbo
  • affliction
  • punishment
  • place of torment
  • abyss
  • suffering
  • bottomless pit
  • condemnation
  • torment
  • infernal regions
  • ordeal
  • doom
  • fire and brimstone
  • everlasting fire
  • perdition
  • anguish
  • Gehenna
  • wretchedness
  • lower world
  • nightmare
  • agony
  • pandemonium
  • trial
  • pit
  • nether world
  • difficulty
  • inferno
  • damnation
  • ruin
  • hell-fire
  • Abaddon
  • underworld
  • grave
  • Hades
  • loss of the soul
  • blazes
  • hell

There are also a number of words that mean the opposite of the word perdition. These are called antonyms, which are another great tool to have in your English language arsenal if you are looking to grow your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word perdition is also provided by Thesaurus

  • bliss
  • enchantment
  • life to come
  • Arcadia
  • Promised Land
  • divine abode
  • beyond
  • immortality
  • eternal home
  • Eden
  • ecstasy
  • rapture
  • Shangri-la
  • happy hunting ground
  • atmosphere
  • empyrean
  • firmament
  • Zion
  • afterworld
  • upstairs
  • happiness
  • kingdom come
  • delight
  • ballpark
  • Canaan
  • sky
  • transport
  • azure
  • fairyland
  • kingdom
  • blessedness
  • next world
  • pearly gates
  • cool
  • beatitude
  • life everlasting
  • heaven
  • paradise
  • eternal rest
  • utopia
  • heavenly kingdom
  • euphoria
  • nirvana
  • the blue
  • Elysium
  • hereafter
  • harmony
  • cloud nine
  • great unknown
  • joy
  • felicity
  • eternity
  • dreamland
  • wonderland
  • gone
  • heights
  • glory
  • gladness

Overall, the word perdition is a noun that can refer generally to utter loss or destruction, but can also be used specifically in Chrsitianity to refer to eternal damnation or Hell. This word is Latin in origin and is often used figuratively. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/perdition/#English
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/perdition
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/cloud%20nine
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/perdition
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perdition
  6. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/perdition