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I am looking for a word (or a phrase for that matter) to describe a "living hell". The word I am looking for should describe a situation that people would usually want to give up.

To put things in context, here is the sentence where this word would fit.

Even in this __ , I find a sense of solace.

Edit: Since I am new here at ELU, I didn't realize that my question was that vague. But I want to describe the pain that I went through in the gym and how, despite the pain and the discomfort that I have been through, I have come to love it and how it soothes me. I hope it puts it in some context.

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closed as general reference by Kris, RegDwigнt Oct 17 '12 at 10:54

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

-1: Use a thesaurus. thesaurus.com/browse/living+hell?s=t – Pitarou Oct 17 '12 at 7:28
Not everyone knows how to use a thesaurus. Native speakers of English as well as those who aren't well-read native speakers. The OP seems to be more well read than many native speakers, though. – user21497 Oct 17 '12 at 9:34
I don't think your sentence provides sufficient context. It would be useful to know more about the nature of the "living hell". – z7sg Ѫ Oct 17 '12 at 9:58
@BillFranke I am a non-native speaker and I can't seem to find an appropriate word from the thesaurus – funktor Oct 17 '12 at 11:23
@Bidit: As z7sg Ѫ said, "I don't think your sentence provides sufficient context." I agree. We need to know more than you've told us. Can you be more specific? A thesaurus is a good tool if you're familiar enough with all or most of the choices it offers you, but unless you can discriminate between the options provided, it's just a "crap shoot" (a dice game). Give us more info & someone might be able to make an appropriate suggestion for you. – user21497 Oct 17 '12 at 13:11

I suggest:

hellhole :a place of extreme misery or squalor

It's interesting that the thesaurus link given in comments above does not list this as a possibility.

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That's because it doesn't mean the same thing. – Pitarou Oct 17 '12 at 7:58
@Jim: +1 Thesaurus.com isn't a bad thesaurus as far as online thesauruses go. Much better than thefreedictionary.com, I think. Although it has hellhole in the dictionary module, it's not in the thesaurus module. I think "a place totally lacking in comfort" (one of its definitions for hellhole) is a good fit for the OP's question, as is "a place of extreme misery". – user21497 Oct 17 '12 at 9:30
As Pitarou said, it doesn't mean the same thing. Quoting dictionary.reference.com hellhole noun 1. a place totally lacking in comfort, cleanliness, order, etc. 2. a place or establishment noted for its illegal or immoral practices. – Danny Oct 17 '12 at 10:16
@Danny: I disagree with both of you, who seem unable to get beyond the bald denotations of a dictionary definition, &, perhaps, have never heard the term used to describe anything real. A place of misery can be a place totally lacking in comfort (e.g., a tiger cage in Vietnam: ask John McCain, not me) & a living hell. Depression is one kind of living hell, marriage may be another, the DTs (& any other kind of drug withdrawal symptoms) can be a living hell, as can alcohol poisoning. I've been through all of those and other living hells. Why are you so convinced you're right? – user21497 Oct 17 '12 at 10:36
"It's interesting that the thesaurus link given in comments above does not list this as a possibility." -- because this is considered GR. – Kris Oct 17 '12 at 10:47

Depends on what you dread most. But you're looking for a vague and general term that includes all types of living hells. Not all the choices in the thesaurus are good ones. Choose the one that suits your ear best. I like these, but others will prefer different words. Strictly a personal choice.

Agony [sounds good to me with Even in this __], purgatory, Phlegethon (river of fire in Hades), Gehenna, limbo, perdition.

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What about "God-forsaken place"? Sounds exactly opposite to heaven as well.

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Not an exact opposite - see my comment to hellhole (they mean the same). – Danny Oct 17 '12 at 10:17

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