Learner's definition of DICKENS
informal + old-fashioned
— used to make a statement or question more forceful
What the dickens [=the devil] do you mean?
We'll have to work like the dickens [=very hard] to finish this project.
(US) It scared/frightened the dickens out of people. [=scared people very badly]
(US) She's as cute as the dickens. [=she's very cute]