a hell of a

(redirected from a helluva)

hell of a (person or thing)

1. Quite good or impressive. That was one hell of a party you threw for Kelly. Everyone said they had such a great time. He's a hell of a ballplayer. I wouldn't be surprised if he made it to the pros someday.
2. Very difficult. I had a hell of a time trying to change the flat tire. The lug nuts didn't want to budge.
3. Bad or negative. Did she really hang up on me? That's a hell of a response to an innocent question!
See also: hell, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a hell of a someone or something

 and a helluva someone or something 
1. Inf. a very bad person or thing. (Use caution with hell.) That's a hell of a way to treat someone. He's a hell of a driver! Watch out! 2. Inf. a very good person or thing. (Use caution with hell.) He is one hell of a guy. We really like him. We had a helluva good time.
See also: hell, of
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hell of a

Also, one hell of a
1. See devil of a.
2. This phrase is used as an intensive to emphasize certain qualities about the noun it modifies. By itself the idiom is ambiguous, for its exact meaning depends on the context. For example, He is a hell of a driver can mean either that he is very skillful or that he is a terrible driver. Similarly, We had one hell of a time can mean either that we enjoyed ourselves greatly or that we had an awful or difficult time. [Second half of 1700s]
See also: hell, of
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a (or one) hell of a —

used to emphasize something very bad or great. informal
1990 Stephen King The Stand If someone on the committee has been leaking, we're in a hell of a jam.
See also: hell, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a/one hell of a...

(spoken, slang) somebody/something that is very bad, good, unusual, impressive, etc: We had a hell of a good time at the night club.I had one hell of a hangover the next morning.
This is sometimes written as ‘a/one helluva’.
See also: hell, of, one
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Taken from "SuperWomen Do IT Less Or a Helluva Lot Better!: A Millennium Guide to Having It All: Children, a Career, and a Loving Relationship", Rose Marie Ray's words are especially relevant now.
Or a Helluva Lot Better!" Rose Marie Ray, who has been mentoring other superwomen for years, shares an upbeat instructional guide that leads women to both survive and thrive beyond the tough choices they must make while juggling family, careers, and personal needs.
Or a Helluva Lot Better!" shares time-tested guidance and positive reinforcement for women of all ages striving to be the best they can in both their professional and personal lives.
Owens got away from the corner and let Sami Zayn hit a Helluva Kick on the prone Seth Rollins.
"If we were on six points, with two wins, it would look a helluva lot different and we would feel a helluva lot better.
No Fidel fan here: Never been amused by People who put poets and journalists in jail--although I did notice The New York Times recently favored the former dictator of Paraguay with an obituary headline describing him as "colorful." I guess a good fascist murderer like Alfredo Stroessner was a helluva lot colorfuller than ol' Fidel.
All Gramps can say about that is it's a helluva way to run a railroad.
But his account of the first Nuremberg trial is as much a page turner as a pop thriller--but a helluva lot more important.
But when he spotted a cameraman, Argentina's once most feared striker showed he still packs a helluva punch.
If Loomis had done so, Dutch would have been less controversial (maybe that's why he didn't) and a helluva lot better.
"Jimmy's a helluva guy and we needed somebody like that.
That real estate is worth a helluva lot more than all the others."