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1. Quite good or impressive. (A colloquial contraction of "hell of a.") That was one helluva a party you threw for Kelly. Everyone said they had such a great time. He's a helluva ballplayer. I wouldn't be surprised if he made it to the pros someday.
2. Very difficult. I had a helluva time trying to change the flat tire. The lug nuts didn't want to budge.
one hell of a (something or someone)
1. An exceptionally good, exciting, or interesting thing or person. Marty sure is one hell of a guy, always willing to lend his friends a hand! Two cars for the price of one? That's one hell of a deal! It started out slow, but this turned into one hell of an exciting movie!
2. An exceptionally bad or difficult thing, activity, or person. This is one hell of a math assignment—I can't understand the first thing about it! Boy, that is one hell of a haircut. You're going to go out in public like that?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a hell of a someone or somethingand 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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
hell of a someone/somethingand helluva someone/something
1. n. a very bad person or thing. (Use caution with hell.) That’s a hell of a way to treat someone.
2. n. a very good person or thing. (Use caution with hell.) He is one helluva guy. We really like him.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.