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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?
See also: hell, of, one
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.

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

hell of a someone/something

and 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.
See also: hell, of, someone, something

helluva someone/something

McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
The musical came together in five months, a helluva time for the creators.
Owens wanted to put insult to injury after the match as he tried to Pedigree Zayn, but Rollins made the save, hitting the Prizefighter with a flying knee before Zayn got revenge on Owens with another Helluva Kick.
It's a .303 British Enfield that has a helluva kick.
Back on board, the boys called him frogman, Frank, one helluva fool
"I just think he's a helluva of a football coach, and I don't want him to make the mistake I made, to wait too long to go back," Vermeil said of Gruden to 94 WIP.
* The Helluva Hunt (www.helluvahunt.com) in Douglas, Wyo., is for antelope.
Deputy news editor Matthew Fishbane offers can't-miss reportage and a helluva storyboth quirky and necessarytoday in Tablet Magazine, with a dispatch from outside Mbale, Uganda.
If they did, like most of the audience, they would wise up to the play's too obvious twist a helluva lot faster.
Me, the Mob and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James and the Shondells comes from a rock star who's compiled 24 gold singles and 9 platinum albums.
"When all is said and done, one of the things I hope will come out of my life is that my peers will say 'You know, that Watson, he was a helluva player'."
Those crazy European guys, they really know how to have one helluva a crazy time.
For all his real-world experience and in-depth knowledge of vitamins, natural health products and nutraceuticals (foods with health or medical benefits), Deline admits the job poses "a helluva challenge" to move NOCI from a concept to a functioning organization with a marketing roll-out anticipated for mid-2007.
So it was somewhat of a surprise when we sat down to talk about the 2006 Diesel Progress Newsmaker of the Year, we started throwing names, and ideas and candidates around, and when we were done, said "wow, that's a helluva list."
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.