Simple Definition of devious
: willing to lie and trick people in order to get what is wanted
: not straight or direct : having many twists and turns
Full Definition of devious
Examples of devious in a sentence
a dishonest and devious politician
He took us by a devious route to the center of the city.
Did You Know?
If you think someone devious has lost their way, you're right, etymologically speaking - the word derives from the Latin adjective devius, itself formed from the prefix de- ("from" or "away") and the noun "via" ("way"). When "devious" was first used in the late 16th century, it implied a literal wandering off the "way," suggesting something that meandered or had no fixed course (as in "a devious route" or "devious breezes"). Relatively quickly, however, the word came to suggest someone or something that had metaphorically rather than literally left the "right path" or to deceitful (rather than "straight"-forward) behavior.
DEVIOUS Defined for Kids
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