a. The world of the dead in various religious traditions, located below the world of the living.
b. A region, realm, or dwelling place conceived to be below the surface of the earth.
c. Archaic The world beneath the heavens; the earth.
2. The part of society that is engaged in and organized for the purpose of crime and vice.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.