AskDefine | Define underworld

Dictionary Definition



1 the criminal class
2 (religion) the world of the dead; "he didn't want to go to hell when he died" [syn: Hel, Hell, Hades, infernal region, netherworld, Scheol]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. That part of society that is engaged in crime or vice.
  2. The world of the dead, located underneath the world of the living; the afterlife.



part of society engaged in crime or vice
  • Czech: podsvětí
  • Finnish: alamaailma
  • Greek: υπόκοσμος (ypókosmos)
world of the dead
  • Czech: podsvětí
  • Finnish: manala
  • German: Unterwelt
  • Greek: άδης (ádis), τάρταρα (tártara)

See also

Extensive Definition

In the study of mythology and religion, the underworld (gr: κάτω κόσμος) is a generic term approximately equivalent to the lay term afterlife, referring to any place to which newly dead souls go. In most cultures the term refers to a neutral or dystopic realm of the afterlife, instead of a heavenly one. Sometimes the underworld is identified as "Hell" because Hell was thought to be under the Earth.

Rulers of the Underworld

(Note: this includes guardian-type creatures, ghosts, and spirits such as demons, veli, and Cerberus)

Fictional underworlds

This has influenced several gothic fiction texts.
underworld in Czech: Podsvětí
underworld in German: Unterwelt
underworld in Spanish: Anexo:Inframundo
underworld in French: Au-delà
underworld in Italian: Storia dell'Aldilà
underworld in Luxembourgish: Ënnerwelt (Mythologie)
underworld in Lithuanian: Požeminis pasaulis
underworld in Macedonian: Подземен свет
underworld in Dutch: Onderwereld (mythologie)
underworld in Norwegian: Dødsrike
underworld in Polish: Zaświaty
underworld in Russian: Загробный мир
underworld in Simple English: Underworld
underworld in Serbo-Croatian: Podzemni svijet
underworld in Swedish: Dödsrike
underworld in Vietnamese: Địa ngục

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Abaddon, Black Hand, Cosa Nostra, Dis, Gehenna, Hades, Hell, Naraka, Orcus, Pandemonium, Sheol, Tophet, abyss, avichi, bottomless pit, bowels, criminals, deep space, deeps, depths, gangdom, gangland, gaping depths, hades, hell, infernal pit, infernal regions, inferno, jahannan, limbo, lower world, nether world, netherworld, organized crime, outer space, perdition, place of torment, purgatory, shades below, the Mafia, the abyss, the bottomless pit, the grave, the mob, the pit, the rackets, the syndicate, the underworld, unfathomed deeps, unknown depths
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