noun \ˈde-vəl dial ˈdi-\

the Devil : the most powerful spirit of evil in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam who is often represented as the ruler of hell

: an evil spirit

: a person who does bad things or causes trouble usually in a way that is not too serious

Full Definition of DEVIL

often capitalized :  the personal supreme spirit of evil often represented in Jewish and Christian belief as the tempter of humankind, the leader of all apostate angels, and the ruler of hell —usually used with the —often used as an interjection, an intensive, or a generalized term of abuse <what the devil is this?> <the devil you say!>
:  an evil spirit :  demon
a :  an extremely wicked person :  fiend
b archaic :  a great evil
:  a person of notable energy, recklessness, and dashing spirit; also :  one who is mischievous <those kids are little devils today>
:  fellow —usually used in the phrases poor devil, lucky devil
a :  something very trying or provoking <having a devil of a time with this problem>
b :  severe criticism or rebuke :  hell —used with the <I'll probably catch the devil for this>
c :  the difficult, deceptive, or problematic part of something <the devil is in the details>
Christian Science :  the opposite of Truth :  a belief in sin, sickness, and death :  evil, error
between the devil and the deep blue sea
:  faced with two equally objectionable alternatives
devil to pay
:  severe consequences —used with the <there'll be the devil to pay if we're late>

Examples of DEVIL

  1. She is a tricky devil, so be careful.
  2. Those kids can be little devils sometimes.
  3. He's such a lucky devil that he'll probably win the lottery someday.

Origin of DEVIL

Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, from Late Latin diabolus, from Greek diabolos, literally, slanderer, from diaballein to throw across, slander, from dia- + ballein to throw; probably akin to Sanskrit gurate he lifts up
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to DEVIL

Other Occult Terms

augury, censor, invocation, lucidity, metempsychosis, mojo, numinous, preternatural, weird, wraith


deviled or devilleddevil·ing or devil·ling \ˈde-və-liŋ, ˈdev-liŋ\

Definition of DEVIL

transitive verb
:  to season highly <deviled eggs>
:  tease, annoy

First Known Use of DEVIL


Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel

Rhymes with DEVIL


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Spirit or power of evil. Though sometimes used to refer to demons, the term more often designates the prince of evil spirits. In the Bible the Devil is known as Satan, Beelzebub, and Lucifer. In Judaism, Satan emerges as subservient to God and as an adversary and accuser of Job and other humans. In postbiblical traditions he emerges as the tempter of humankind and is responsible for all the sins in the Bible. Christian theology holds that his main task is to tempt humans to reject the way of life and redemption in favour of sin and death. In the Qur'an the Devil is frequently associated with Iblis; he tempts the unfaithful but not the true believer. In Hinduism there is no principal devil, although there are a variety of demons or devilish beings. Buddhists also recognize the existence of many demons, and Mara, the Buddha's opponent and tempter, is sometimes identified as a specific devil.


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